Thursday, July 24, 2014

Runner's World Cover Contest

I have entered a contest by Runner's World Magazine to determine who will be on their December cover. I hope you will click HERE and vote for me. You can vote every day, and that would be marvelous. The contest goes until mid-August.

You can help even more by spreading the word on your own facebook or twitter page - let's make it viral! Be sure to include the magic hashtag #RWCoverContest.


Don W

Running Again

Thursday, July 24, 2014:

The adductor injury was a week ago.  I took it pretty easy on that muscle, with one nice bike ride and no running in the six days following the injury, then running about three miles yesterday without pain.  Today I ran a solid four miles on the hilly grass trails in the park, again without pain.  It's getting better, but experience tells me that it couldn't be completely healed yet - a pulled muscle or tendon just doesn't heal in a week for a 73-year-old man.  I'll keep ramping up the distance, five miles tomorrow, but I'll be prepared to drop to a walk immediately if I feel pain.

Adductor muscles are intended to help with sideways motion - they pull the legs sideways, inward, toward each other.  In the past, I've injured an adductor by running on indoor tracks, which can have many, many turns, all in the same direction.   I've been thinking about how an adductor muscle can be stressed in straight-ahead

With kids in the house, kitty takes to
the stairs to avoid being underfoot.
running, because this injury happened on the Gateway Trail, which is on an abandoned railway - quite straight and reasonably flat too.

I suspect that I may have stressed the adductor while mowing the lawn the day before the injury.  One part of our lawn is steeply banked, and I do mow it from side to side, walking one foot up and the other down, because that is safer than mowing up and down the hill.  Maybe I pulled that adductor muscle a little bit and didn't notice it then.  Anyway it's getting better, and I'll be more aware of the issue next time I mow.

Today's run was 4.03 miles in 48:48, for a pace of 12:07.  I definitely could have gone faster, but held it back out of respect for the adductor.  Same tomorrow, only farther.  I hope it doesn't rain tonight - I do like the grass (and dirt) trails, but when they are muddy I choose the paved trails.

Wednesday, July 23:

First run since injury.   I'll start short and increase the running distance gradually, a mile or two every day, while recovering from the adductor injury.  From past experience, the trick is to stop running immediately if any pain shows up.  Today I did about a four to five run/walk most of the time, and no pain appeared.  Longer run tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 22:

My 55th high-school reunion was yesterday and today (yes, on a Monday and a Tuesday - after retirement all the days are the same, so we choose weekdays to get venues that are in demand on weekends).  I couldn't make it Monday, because of a Mayo Clinic appointment, but Tuesday was fine.  We three all went, and had a nice time, including a 3.4-mile hike, a long boat ride, and an outdoor picnic, all with my high school classmates.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Adductor Injury

Sunday, July 20, 2014:

Since the adductor injury still hurts, I cross-trained on the bicycle today, going about 6.5 miles in about 45 minutes, using both the paved and the grass trails.  I must admit that was fun. If I ever reach a point where I can no longer run, I sure hope that I can still ride a bike.  These hilly trails provide a wonderful mix of hard-work uphills, level pedaling, and refreshing downhills.  The rutty "grass" trails are actually grass, dirt, and gravel, so the ride is a bit rough, but that adds to the charm.  I hope my old $160 Target bike holds up.

Anyway the bike riding may not last for very many days.  I'll be running again as soon as the adductor injury heals sufficiently.

Thursday, July 17:

Adductor Injury   Adductors are the muscles that pull the legs together.  They don't move the legs forward and backward, so I have no idea how they get involved in running forward, but they do - I've had trouble with adductors before.  This time it's a small muscle high and deep within the left thigh.

I ran about six of the intended 14 miles, doing my usual 1 to 1 run/walk, feeling an ache in the inner side of that left thigh during the last mile or so.  Then the ache disappeared entirely, and I thought I was home free, but a minute or two later the ache became the sharper pain of an actual injury.  It even hurt a little to walk, so I strolled slowly back to the car, about three miles away.

Looking at previous log entries (see, this is why a log is good), in the past I have dealt with ths injury by gradually ramping up the length of my runs, each time stopping just when the adductor starts to complain.  The last time, in January of 2012, it took just a few days to start running, and I ran six miles a week later.  So that's a plan.

11:30, 11:32, 11:04, 10:52, 11:13, 11:40, 13:53, 20:11, 15:03, total 1:57:00, about 9 miles.

Wednesday, July 16:

After five miles with no walking yesterday, and with a planned 14-mile run/walk tomorrow, this was an easy day, just a nice little 3-mile romp through the grass trails.  Lovely weather - cool, sunny, very little wind.

Time 37:12, distance 3.01 miles, pace 12:22.  No whining to speak of.

I took a good look at the "post hole" that I stepped into 11 days ago - it does look like a post hole.  It's only about two inches deep, but of course that's more than enough to cause an injury.  It could actually be a post hole that someone tried to fill with dirt, and that dirt has compressed somewhat.

Tuesday, July 15:

Five miles, no walking    I haven't done that for a while!  I'm trying to extend my long run by a couple of miles every week, while also extending my no-walk distance a mile or so every week.  Next week I'll try to run a 10k with no walking.  I'm due for a 14-mile run/walk long run yet this week.

5.03 miles in 49:02, for a pace of 9:45.  At that pace I should easily be able to finish a 5k race in 30 minutes.  Maybe I should sign up for one and see.

Indeed this was a race pace for me, as judged by the breathing.  I know from experience that when I take a breath every four footfalls, I'm running a sustainable, long-term pace.  For the last half of this run, however, I was breathing once every three footfalls, a race pace for me.  I was able to charge the last hill, and enjoyed that, but I won't claim that I finished with much energy left over.

Whining:  None!  Nothing hurts.  It's possible that the strange tibia pain will bother me tonight, we'll see.

Monday, July 14, 2014

We Miss Caroline Shallman

After a courageous three year battle with ovarian cancer, our sweet daughter-in-law Caroline died Saturday evening, July 12, 2014.  Here is a link to her husband David's heartfelt goodbye message on CaringBridge:

Information about the memorial service is listed here:

Here is her obituary in the Minneapolis paper:

Tibia Trouble?

Monday July 14, 2014:

Probably not.  I ran a shorter route than usual today, running fairly easy, and felt no pain in the tibia that has been hurting in bed for two nights.  Whatever that pain is (or was), it's apparently not aggravated by easy running.  Time will tell whether it will be a problem.

Distance: 3.17 miles, time 35:58, pace 11:21, not as slow as I meant to go.  I was especially careful on the downhills, but did push a little bit on a few uphills.  What a wonderful morning for running - 62 degrees with a brisk wind, and sunshine alternating with quick little warm showers that didn't appear to come from any cloud that was currently overhead.  Just fun!  It's a masterpiece.

Saturday, July 12:

A little pressed for time this morning, I started with the St Croix Valley Runners but ran my own route, 3.82 miles, in about 41 minutes (I forgot to start my watch).  I tried to go a bit faster than usual, doing a 3 to 2 run/walk rather than 1 to 1.  Unfortunately, I also ran down a couple of steep hills, instead of walking, and may have hurt my right tibia.  It didn't bother at the time, but kept me awake Saturday night and even a little on Sunday night.

The pain is not in the kneecap, hence not PFS, but close to the knee on the medial side of the top of the tibia (I think).  It may not actually be in the bone, but in a nerve or some connecting tissue.  I've felt this pain before, in about the same place, and it has gone away, so hopefully it will go away this time too.

Interesting - I had a conversation with a good friend Sunday in which I averred that running was good for my bones, not bad for them.  Hmm ...

If the time was 41 minutes, then the pace was about 10:44.  That sounds about right.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

12-Mile Run

Thursday, July 10, 2014:

And all is well.  We drove to the Gateway Trail early this morning for a shady and fairly flat run. The Gateway is an old railway right of way, now actually two parallel trails, one wide and paved, the other wider still but mostly grass and gravel.  The first is used by runners, bikers, skaters, and walkers, the second is for horses but is also used by runners who eschew the hard pavement.  Both trails were busy but not really crowded today.

My run was mostly on the paved trails, though I did take the gravel a few times when it looked attractive.  The feet like it.  I carried water, taking some whenever I felt the need, and I also took three Clif Shot gels along the way.

Splits: 11:22, 11:08, 10:55, 11:00, 11:26, 11:04, 10:56, 10:45, 10:40, 10:41, 11:43, 11:03, total 2:12:45, pace 11:04.  If I could do 11:04 for 26.22 miles, that would be a 4:50 marathon.  Wouldn't that be nice!  I did feel strong all through to the end, even charging up the last hill (a bridge) because it felt good.

The sprained right foot with the Lisfranc injury is fine.  No whining!  It's a masterpiece.  14 miles next week if all is well.

Wednesday, July 9:

I ran the same figure-8 route as yesterday, except backward, finishing the 3.53 miles in 38:07, eleven seconds slower than yesterday, for a pace of 10:48.  I'll take it!  I felt very strong at the end.

The sprained right foot didn't bother at all, and although it is still a little sore when I press on the stressed joint, there no longer any visible swelling or inflammation.  No whining!  I'm good to go for a longer run tomorrow, possibly 12 miles on the Gateway Trail, working toward a 20-mile run before our next marathon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Foot Is Better

The injury in my right foot is visibly less inflamed than yesterday.  Pressing on it, the pain seems to be located in the fourth tarsometatarsal joint, between the fourth metatarsal bone and the cuboid bone.  I was wrong in yesterday's post - this is in fact one of the Lisfranc joints, of significance to me because I previously injured these joints on the other foot several years ago.  That injury was worse, involving more than one joint (there are five, one for each toe), but it
healed completely.  Unless this is actually a cracked bone I expect it to heal promptly, and while healing I am apparently able to run on it with minimal pain and probably without interfering with the healing.

Today's route was almost the same as yesterday's, just a little longer.  3.53 miles in 37:56, for a pace of 10:45.  I felt much more ambitious than yesterday, and the pace shows that.  It's a masterpiece.