Monday, July 29, 2013

Eight Miles on the Park's Paved Trails

There is oatmeal under there
The sprained foot is almost well now, and I can run any distance on it as long as I don't twist the foot sideways.  I did a 30/20 run/walk which usually results in a pace of about 11 minutes/mile, and sure enough it did today too.  In fact I did three loops and the pace was almost exactly the same for each.

Whining: Nothing from the sprained left foot, but the right knee with PFS and the right "shin splints" both complained slightly, if only briefly.  It was a lovely run, temperature 52 to 60 degrees, with bright son and no wind.

Laps: 27:26, 27:25, 31:48 (extra 0.7 mi), total 1:26:40, 7.93 mi, overall pace 10:56.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cool, Breezy Mornings

Sunday, July 28, 2013:

We just wanted to fire up the metabolism a bit this morning, so we went to the park where I ran only 2.5 miles.  I didn't walk any of it though, so the pace was a little more lively than usual, 2.5 miles in 24:24 for 9:43 per mile.

Mulberries from our own volunteer
tree, a few weeks ago.  The little
stems don't bother at all.
Whining:  None.  Even the sprained left foot was quiet.  It’s not entirely healed yet, so I’m not taking it out on my favorite twisty, rutty grass & dirt trails yet, but pretty soon!

What a wonderful morning for running, 57 degrees and breezy.  I actually wore a long-sleeved shirt.

Saturday, July 27:

Five more miles in the park.  I didn't wear a watch, but I think that my time was about the same as yesterday so my pace would be about the same too, 11 minutes per mile.  I ran/walked a 30/20 ratio, more or less, running a little more uphill than down because of the injured left foot. That foot is getting better every day.  54 degrees this morning!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Running Again

Friday, July 26, 2013:

Actually, I've been running for the last week, just not blogging.  Today I ran five miles on the park’s paved trails, which are flat enough to minimize any risk of twisting the sprained foot.  After closer inspection it seems to be the foot that is sprained, not the ankle.  The sore place is near the outside of the left foot, possibly the outermost Lisfranc joint.  I doubt that any of the bones are broken, because I have been able to run on the foot (both feet - it actually takes two) with little or no pain since the third day after the injury.  It does hurt to put weight on the left foot with it tilted outward, so I have not run on the grass/dirt trails yet.

The foot looked black & blue after the first day, and then somewhat swollen.  Today the color is gone, and it appears that the swelling is almost gone.

Two days after the injury.  Then the
color went away, but the swelling got
worse.  Today the swelling is better too.

Looking back, I do find notes in my log about sprains of the Lisfranc ligaments in the left foot in two places, most especially in 2006.  At that time it hurt worse than now, I think, and I took it to a podiatric doctor, who said that he could have immobilized and healed it properly it if I had come in sooner, but that I had come in too late.  He said that it would become arthritic and give me trouble for the rest of my life.  It did become arthritic, for a while, even bothered me while mowing the lawn on slopes, but pretty soon it didn't hurt while running on flat surfaces.  After a year or two, it didn't hurt even on slopes.  So much for the life sentence!  I suppose this injury will behave similarly because, again, I’m definitely not bringing the foot in soon enough for the foot doc.  Too bad, Doc, but I can’t run with a cast on my foot, and I sure did run today without the cast.

Today’s run was actually wonderful.  The temperature was 64 with a brisk breeze and low humidity - a perfect summer morning.  I did a 30/20 walk run, and could certainly have gone a bit faster.  The foot ached slightly at first, then didn't hurt at all for the rest of the run.  It aches just a little after the run.

Laps: 27:54, 27:08, total 55:04, 5.02 miles, pace 10:58.

Wednesday, July 24:

2.9 miles on the park’s paved trails again, just like Monday except this time I ran with Bria, a sweet Australian sheepdog.  We were dog-sitting.  Time was 37:25, five minutes more than Monday, but the difference was attributable to sweet Bria.  The foot didn't hurt at all after the first minute or two.

Monday, July 22:

2.9 miles on the park’s paved trails - that’s once around the main loop and once around the little Klondike loop.  20/20 run/walk, time 32:30, for a pace of 11:12.  No pain in the left foot after the first few minutes.

Saturday, July 20:

St Croix Valley Runners, meeting now every Saturday at 7:00 am, Brown’s Creek Park on Neal in Stillwater.  We ran Dennis’ route, 5.05 miles.  I fell behind the group and finished in about 51:30, for a pace of 10:12.  I can do better.  The foot hurt a little at first, then calmed down nicely.  No pain.  I did use ice after the run.

Friday, July 19:

Gateway Trail, first run since the injury, about three miles in about 40 minutes.  No really much pain on that flat, paved trail.

Thursday, July 19:

300 Calories on various non-impact machines, elliptical and pedal, at the YMCA.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ankle Sprain Update

I did follow the regimen outlined in yesterday's post.  At first the sprain hurt quite a bit whenever I would try to put weight on it, but after about seven hours that pain disappeared, rather suddenly.  At about that same time, I could see bruising on the side of the foot, not visible earlier.  The blood from the injured connective tissue had reached the skin.  Is it a coincidence that the pain went away at the same time?  I have no idea.

24 hours after the injury

Today I'm continuing to follow the regimen, which includes alternating heat and cold.  The foot actually feels good enough to run on, as long as the weight comes straight down on it, but I'll pass for today.  In fact I have some lawn mowing to do, which is just walking, but I'll wait a day for that too.

I'll be running again soon - probably on the lovely and flat gateway Trail.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ankle Sprain Recovery

Oops - I sprained my left ankle today, twisting the foot sideways on the grass/dirt trails after only a half mile or so of running. From past experience I know that I could have kept going and finished the rest of the five miles without too much pain, but would have suffered for that later.

Instead, I phoned the girls and we all went back to the car so I could get home to ice the injury as soon as possible. It's not a bad sprain, just a moderate pain but no bruising evident at the skin (yet). Here is my approach to healing it:


  • Ice it on and off, more on than off, for several hours to minimize swelling,
  • Take one and only one Aleve (naproxen) capsule to further manage swelling, and
  • Elevate the foot, same reason.
  • Use the foot as necessary, and at least a little every hour, but avoid serious pain.
  • A little dark chocolate has nothing to do with healing but improves my spirits.
  • Switch to alternating heat and cold, off and on for a day or two at least,
  • Use the foot. Avoid serious pain, but keep the foot working so that it heals correctly. No running at first, but walking and stairs are OK and even necessary.
  • No more Aleve or other NSAID. I believe that these may actually impair the ability to heal in the long run, and I already take an aspirin every day as part of the myeloma therapy.
  • Take Vitamin C, Zinc, and Glucosamine / Chondroitin, all of which may actually help rebuild connective tissue.
  • Be guided by the pain. When running feels OK, start on a flat surface, such as a paved trail.
I like this rather comprehensive web page on "Sprains and Strains" from the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Any other suggestions?

Monday, July 15, 2013:

Hot and humid day on the grass trails, 6.05 miles in 1:10:24, pace 11:50.  No pains.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shin Splints

This morning I intended to take it easy, maybe a 12-minute pace, but when I got to the park I decided to do some hill training instead.  On a 7.56-mile route I ran/walked 20/20, but ran up every significant hill and down all but the steepest ones, so the ratio was much higher than 20/20.  I finished in 1:26:18, for a pace of 11:25, almost identical to yesterday's pace, where I went faster on the flats but walked many of the hills.

Whining: The pain in the right tibia was there again for the first half mile or so.  I ran 34.2 miles this week, which is plenty for me - I'll cut it back next week.  Shin splints stay away!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013:

I ran on the park's grass trails again, doing a 30/20 run/walk.  This was a very nice, dry morning with a cool northwest breeze.  If It weren't for a few wet spots in the trail, my shoes wouldn't have gotten wet at all.  I ran 5.94 miles in 1:07:27, for a pace of 11:21.  That's good - I like to run at least my marathon pace, about 11:30.

Whining: The right tibia (shin bone) hurt just a little in the first half mile or so, on the inside edge of the bone about two inches below the knee joint.  The beginning of shin splints maybe?  I hope not.  I have felt this before, some time ago, and it resolved by itself.  Shin splints usually appear when a runner increases his/her mileage or tempo too quickly, more than 10% per week, and I have indeed been running more often and more miles per week.  Perhaps I should reel it back in a bit.  Hate to do that on these lovely summer mornings.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Tuesday, July 9, 2013:

... go out in the midday sun.  I’m only half English, so out I only have to go out once in a while.

Prairie restoration in the park

81 degrees today at 1:00 pm, bright sun, 4.4 miles in 54:39, for a pace of 12:25, definitely not stellar.  I felt sluggish because of a very recent lunch and I took it easy, with a 30/20 run/walk.  I stopped twice to help two women on horseback find their way back to their horse trailers.  I enjoyed the run, but was happy to get back to the car.

Whining: The right knee with PFS hurt just a little throughout.

After the run the girls and I walked a bit on the new (and old) ski trails in the park, probably another two miles or so.  Nice.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Six Days Running

I rarely run more than two days in a row, but this week I ran at least five miles for five days in a row and the Marine on St Croix downhill 4-Mile Fourth of July Race on the sixth day.  Total miles for the week: 32.3, which is about my limit.  I took the next day off.

Runners assembling for the race

Summer on our deck
I ran that 4.1 mile race in 38:05, for a pace of 9:17, about two minutes slower than I ran it two years ago.  I'm a little disappointed in the time, but had run a lot in the days before, including a pretty hard 6-mile run the previous day, so hadn't expected to do too well.  Happily no pains, no problems.

These days the trails in the park are calling me when I wake.  It's mighty easy to get out and run.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Beautiful (Noxious) Flowers

Before we were runners, we three sometimes came to the park just to see these beautiful thistles in bloom. We didn't know then that they are judged "noxious weeds" by the state of Minnesota.  But they are, and a public park is obligated to remove them, so there are not many to be found in the park any more.  The photo shows a lovely stand of them along Hwy 61 near Beam Ave in Maplewood, far from the park.

My good friend Jim and I ran (and walked) 6.33 miles on the grass trails this morning.  I tried to run without walking, but within a mile or two was breathing too hard and had to switch to a run/walk of 40/20.  Even that was hard to maintain - perhaps because this was my fourth day in a row running at least five miles.  I found myself leaning to the left, too, which sometimes happens when I'm tired.  I did that in the Honolulu Marathon, actually, except then I was leaning to the right as I recall.  Not enough core strength - I know how to fix that but just don't take the time to do the work.

6.33 miles in 1:08:46, for a pace of 10:52, which is actually great considering I stopped once for a natural break and once more to take a photo.  I always run a little faster when I'm with Jim, because he lopes along so easily, and I usually end up a little more tired, too.  Certainly I did today - that's a good thing.  The trails are mostly clear of trees now, and the wet spots are getting a little better.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Four Days Running

I don't often run two days together, let alone four days in a row, but the trails are calling my name these mornings.  I can't wait to get out there and jog up and down the grassy hills.  At the same time I can check on the progress of the park's recovery from the recent storms.

Tree across trail - typical.  But there
is a way to squeeze around this one.

Today the worst trail had been CLEARED of downed trees, a big job indeed, and I saw county employees with chain saws and a pickup truck preparing to do more.  There are still a lot of trees down, though people on foot can get by.  The worse problem now is mud, in places where there is no way around it.  My shoes went in the washer for the third day in a row. I should probably just dye them brown and glue sand to them.

I ran 5.1 miles in 59:00, approximately, doing a 30/20 run/walk, for a pace of about 11:34, good enough for the fourth day of running.  I felt some pain in the right knee again, but not even close to a limiting pain.  Great day!  Another run tomorrow.