Sunday, April 24, 2011

Racing plans in flux

My racing plans are in flux still. I would already have run two-three races, and would be preparing for the Colorado Marathon if not for the nagging tendinitis. I'm able to run now, but my endurance isn't up the snuff. Speed is coming back though, so I intend to run an upcoming 5K race to see where I'm at.  If the tendinitis doesn't let me get the marathon goal done, at least I can do some more work on the sub-20-min 5K goal.

So, that status of the whole tendinitis deal changes all the time, it seems. Some days I feel great, some days not so much. It's not an issue with intense pain that forces me to struggle and limp home anymore, which is good. Unfortunately, as my posterior tibialis issues are gradually resolving, I had a brief issue with some peroneal tendon and muscle on the outside of my ankle (which resolved fairly quickly), and more recently some burning at the back of my heel indicates some possible achilles tendinitis or bursitis my have set in there. For the most part this hasn't bothered my while running, but I do not intend to give it a stress test with a long hard run.

So, for now I'm sticking with fairly easy aerobic runs of 5 miles, and keeping higher-intensity runs much shorter. So far, it's worked out all right. I also take 1-3 days off between runs, which also seems to help.

I'm hopeful that with care I can get to running more consistently again in the near future, without over-stressing anything in my lower leg/ankle area.

Until I can get this sorted, all of my racing plans will remain in flux. I'll just have to make some judgements, and will likely stick to smaller races for most of this year, until I'm confident I've overcome the tendinitis issues.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Injury time out - what do you lose?

Today I got out on the road for a higher intensity 5K distance run. I opted out on a race early in the morning because I had a little residual soreness in my calves form a trail run on Friday, and instead ran the same distance as a progressive run to get an idea of where my condition is at. Started easy on the first mile (about 7:40), notched up a bit on mile 2 (7:30), and then just progressively increased speed through the rest of the run, covering mile 3 in 6:49, and polishing off the last 0.11 miles at a 6:31 pace. Not too shabby, but not quite where I was before I stopped to deal with my ankle issues.

Before I injured myself, I was doing 5K progressives like this in about 21 minutes, and sometimes finishing off at sub-6 pace. Today, I was slower than that and pretty well spent in the final 0.05 miles. That tells me basically what I expected. That is, that I've lost some lactate Threshold.

I've talked before about why we lose lactate threshold gains quickly when we take time off, but retain aerobic endurance for longer periods. Essentially, it's because lactate threshold is completely a physiological adaptation that occurs at the cellular level in our muscle tissues, whereas aerobic endurance involves more enduring changes in the structure and and vascularization of the muscle tissues. Cellular machinery is easily torn up and recycled for other purposes when it isn't needed, but structural changes at the tissue level take more time to break down. They develop slowly when we train, over long periods, and they are lost the same way.

So, it's hi-ho, hi-ho, and off to work I go again on some higher intensity work, to include both some lactate threshold runs, and some progressively longer runs again, in the hopes that I'll be ready to run at least the half marathon when Colorado Marathon day (May 1) arrives.

Cheers all.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the road again

I'm finally beginning to take a few tentative running steps again, and I'm thankful that so far they are pain free. Whenever I have been forced to take a break from running, I have been amazed not by how much condition I've lost over a few weeks off, but by how much I've maintained. So, while I could be disappointed that I three miles is about my distance limit for running at present, instead I'm happy that I can run those three miles quite easily at about the same paces I was running before I became injured.

Unfortunately, I'll have to work back up to longer distances, and will have to do it slowly so I don't end up on the sidelines again. I've been in this position before. Unfortunately, the timeframe for the Colorado Marathon is too tight for me to work up safely to run it, so I'll have to decide a little closer to race day which of the shorter races I think I'll be ready to run, then plan for a first marathon effort sometime later this year. It's not ideal, but it will have to do.

I'll also have to juggle training with an unusual work schedule, which will likely make using the Pfitzinger 55-70 mile/week plan impractical...  Given my desire to avoid overuse injuries when next I train for 26.2, I think I'm all right with that. I hope to still make my first marathon a solid effort.

Back to race season planning, again...

On the bright side, I've got a good job, with good benefits and excellent health insurance, so if I need some medical attention... :)

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