Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting there

My foot felt great on Saturday, but I had a cold so I decided to take the day off. I decided to retire my NB 858. They had about 750 km on them plus a winter full of salty slush. Since my Nike Free seem to deteriorate fairly fast, I decided I needed new running shoes. I hesitated between the Zoot and the Karhu M2. They didn't have the Zoot in my size and the Karhu M2 felt great so although I had never heard of those shoes I decided to go with them. Bought me some quick-laces (I liked that in the Zoots) and I was on my way.

Yesterday, after a bowl of Rasin Bran, two advils and a sudafed, I decided that I felt great! The sun was out so I went out for a short run to try the new shoes and my recently chiropracted foot. Everything felt great so I just kept running. Got home two hours later: 20km of bliss. Could have used more Gatorade but nothing is perfect.

My cuboid acted up a bit after and specially this morning. Not as bad as before but some. Went back to the chiro (I already had a follow-up appointment scheduled) and she let loose again. Ouch! Feels better, but again, it's pretty tender. Running on Sunday for sure.

I drove down the race course. And by "down", I mean "down". The whole 10km is basically down hill. I haven't been doing much speed work this month but I bet I can run under 45 minutes on the course. Does that count as a PR? I won't count my chickens just yet though.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Latest news on foot

According to the chiro at the sport clinic, I seem to have a subluxated cuboid bone. She pulled, pushed, massaged, probed and ultrasounded my foot. It's still tender from all that work so I can't be sure it's all fixed but apparently I should see an improvement tomorrow. Hopefully I'm still on for the Sporting Life 10km next Sunday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Confirmed - Knee A/Ok

After ten days of running without any kind of knee pain, I'm declaring the "knee incident of 2008" over. What fixed it? If I was a betting man, I would say my new and improved running form. Other factors might have included the Nike Free shoes and the Glucosamine supplements.

I still like the Nike Free shoes, but I have to admit that my feet feel like they are taking a beating. My left foot is a bit painful right now and I'll take a few days off running.
That's the beauty of triathlon training, I'll just bike and swim more! I probably did too much mileage, too fast, but I was desperate. Anyway, I think I will try to switch at least some of the mileage back to my regular shoes and see what happens.

I signed up for a 10k race (Sporting LIfe 10Km Race). I have no idea how I will do. I haven't been doing much speed work (none, actually) so even though I'm going to try for that elusive 45 minutes, I have no idea if that's realistic. The course is pretty much down hill, so there's a chance...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two days without pain

I've been having problems with my left knee for over a month now. I lowered my volume, iced, ibuprofened, stretched, rested and massaged. It doesn't always happen. I've been able to PR twice during that time but I don't want to make it worse. The problem was that it didn't seem to get any better.

According to the people at the shoe store, I'm a pronator and my two pairs of running shoes take that into account. Usually, I would start running and fairly soon I would get this feeling that my knee is not tracking quite right. Then a light burning sensation under the knee cap, while the leg is swinging back forward, which quickly escalates. Most times, if I stop, walk a bit and then start running slowly again, things fall into place and the pain goes away. That's what I did before my 10k race and I had no pain during the race.

Last weekend I decided that it was my stride. They say not to mess with it without a good reason, but I think this qualifies. I pulled my "Brain Training for Runners" off the shelf, started the daily exercises and when I went out for my long run, I applied some of the tricks that are in the book. Wouldn't you know it, I felt pretty good for the whole 18k. Not 100%, but better than in other runs.

Yesterday I decided to drink the Koolaid. I went for a 10k run in my Nike Free 7, with almost no support. It was a fantastic run. Today I went out in them again and had another good run although as soon as I fell back into my old form, I could feel a twinge in my knee. It's too early to be certain that I've got this licked. I will definitely continue with the exercises and the gait retraining. I can actually feel how this will allow me to have a more powerful and effective stride.

Triathlon training

As you may or may not know, I've gone to the dark side and am now also swimming and biking. My weekly training includes 4 runs, 3 swims and 3 bike sessions. Plus one rest day. This means that most days, I train twice. My family thinks I'm nuts. Sure beats watching TV. I'm just dying to buy a road bike. My big problem is that I have nowhere to store it. Hmmmm... I'm going to do at least one triathlon and then I decide if it's worth it.

I joined the Toronto Triathlon Club. They have a group run/pub night tomorrow. I'll probably go and meet the group. I don't know anyone there.


Assuming my knee holds, I'm still on for the Sulphur Spring 25k trail race. I'm going to have to decide soon. I've also pretty much decided to run the Toronto marathon. I was supposed to do the half, but what's another 21k between friends? So taking into account my extensive tri cross training, I will follow the level 1 program in "Brain Training..." which has a program with 4 run sessions a week. Jack Daniel's book doesn't have a program like that so I'm going to stick with Matt for this one.

Long run this weekend is 22k. If the next 7 days work out well, I'm signing up for Sulphur Spring!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our Fear of Injury

I was listening to Phedippidations yesterday (episode 136) and Steve mentioned that he was having a problem with an ankle. He said he probably shouldn't run Boston on it but that he was going to. For a non-runner, that is proof that runners are crazy. Maybe we are. But they have to understand why most of us would do the same.

When people start running, some of them will become runners. Some don't. They just run, but they don't identify with it. For some reason, some of us associate with running at a deep level and it becomes part of our identity. There lies the problem. When having to make a rational decision about running, we are often incapable to do so, specially if the right thing to do is not to run. Because runners run. That's what we do. We are afraid that if we stop running, we will become less of ourselves.

So we fear injury. We deny its existence as long as we can. We test its reality as soon as we feel it start to heal. Maybe it's gone magically during the night! Let's go for a short run and see!

I understand Steve. The goal becomes part of our identity and we will try to reach it if we can. If we can't, it will hurt and a small part of us will die with it. But there will be other crazy goals we can aim for which in time will allow us to heal.

Friday, April 4, 2008


My new multi-sport training is kicking my @ss. The problem right now is that spring is not quite here yet and I can't ride outside just yet, so I have to go to the gym. For example today, it's +1C and raining. I probably won't even run outside, let alone ride my bike. So this means a lot of trips to the gym and that's time consuming. At least there's a pool there where I can do my drills. It's too short for long distance (14 meters) so I have to go to U of Toronto for that.

My knee is still giving me grief. I'm going to keep icing it twice a day and tried to run less mileage.

I upgraded my bike a bit. I'm dying to buy a roadie, but I'll stick with my city bike for now. I bought some clip-in pedals and bought a cadence unit for my Garmin 305. I got it yesterday and I will install it on my bike as soon as it stops raining. With that I will get cadence information on my Garmin. Sweet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

Just bought a ticket online for "Spirit of the Marathon". It's going to play for one day next Thursday, here in Toronto.

Bought myself some new pedals for my bike today. I'm dying to start riding outside but the wind today was crazy so I went to the bike shop to buy some pedal baskets worth 10 bucks, and came out with: new clip-in pedals, a pedal wrench, riding gloves, a flat repair kit, a spare tire tube and a little bag to stuff all that on my seat post. Did I mention the pump? This winter has got to end soon.

Just came back from the gym. I spun (spinned?) for 45 minutes listening to "Zen and the Art of Triathlon" and "Running from the Reaper" and and then jumped in the pool and did drills for 30 minutes. I scheduled an hour with a swim coach next Thursday. I have a feeling my technique is all wrong so I'm trying to stick with drills and not burn in my bad habits by doing too much distance.

Feels weird (and nice) not to have those nasty quality runs twice a week. I'm kinda back to more of a "build" phase right now so I brought the intensity way down. Nice.

I'm looking at my schedule (it's right beside my beer!) and tomorrow I'm running 30 minutes easy and I have a 60 minutes easy spin. Hopefully the winds will be down and I'll be able to go out.