Friday, April 28, 2017

Iliotibial Band

I was pretty sure that the injury on the outside of my right thigh was a bursa, because it was recovering so quickly.  However Katie, my therapist, says there are no bursas in the area of my injury.  After a quick internet search, I believe her.

Katie is convinced that the injury is simply an irritation of the Iliotibial band (ITB) as it passes by that area, about a third of the way down the thigh, on its trip from the pelvis to the tibia.  Katie didn't call it "iliotibial band syndrome," but I think that might be a proper technical name.

This is an overuse injury.  I worked pretty hard on Monday, running a full mile without walking, for the first time in years, plus four more miles of run/walk.  Then on Tuesday the girls and I walked six miles with backpacks, including over 300 feet of elevation change, down to the river and back.  The injury first made itself felt during the climb back up.  Katie guessed that before I even told her.

One lesson:  I'm 76 years old and I really do need to allow for an off day between two days of vigorous exercise, even if one of them is only walking.  Lesson two:  Uphill (and maybe downhill) walking may put as much stress on the legs as running on the flat.

Katie also gave me three more exercises to do, therapy which may help prevent this type of injury in the future.

What's next?  Happily, the pain is almost gone already.  Tomorrow I'll go for an easy walk.  Maybe Sunday too.  Katie said I could run a bit on Monday, distance and intensity guided by the pain (lack of).  Sounds good to me - I'm anxious to get back on the trail.  I'll ramp up carefully.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Rats.  Monday I ran a full mile without walking, as part of a five-mile route, mostly running.  Tuesday my sweeties and I walked from our home down to the local co-op grocery and back, six miles and more than 300 feet elevation change, wearing backpacks.

On the way back I felt a little twinge in the upper outside of the right thigh, no problem.  Wednesday morning, however, that twinge was far worse, severe enough that I took it to urgent care to check for a DVT.  Happily the D-Dimer test was negative.   The pain continued though, making walking difficult and stairs even more so, worse after sitting a while, better after walking a little.  I assumed that it was as pulled muscle or tendon and made an appointment to see Katie, my therapist, on Friday.

Today, Thursday, the pain is much much better.  As quickly as it appeared Tuesday night, it almost disappeared Wednesday night.  I can jog up the stairs, and get out of a chair with only a minor ache.  This recovery is too quick for a torn muscle or tendon, which may take three weeks for a full recovery.  So what might it be?

Years ago I brought a severe hip pain to my favorite doctor, who poked around a bit and proclaimed it to be an irritated bursa.  I said "Huh?"  He said it would disappear by itself in two days, and it did.

Is that what this is?  Is there even a bursa on the outside of the thigh about a third of the way down?  Katie will know tomorrow.

Monday, April 24, 2017

One Mile No Walking

Technically 1600 meters, which is 0.9944 miles, but who's counting.  Me I guess.  I didn't run it very fast, because I wanted to finish the mile - I haven't run a whole mile, without walking, for several years.

Katie, my therapist, wants me to set my next goal at three miles, and I could probably have kept going, but maybe not for another two miles.  Rather than three miles, though, I would prefer to run one mile in less time.  So maybe we can do a little of each.  One day push the distance by 400 or 800 meters (1 or 2 laps), and another day go for 2:15 per lap (9:00 pace), or even 2:00 (8:00 pace), for at least one of the laps.  Eventually I'd like to run 1600 M in less than 8 minutes and 800 M in less than 3:30.  We'll see.

On the way to the track and back I had no trouble running up the hills that appeared during the 6 minute run portions of the 10 minute intervals.  Chugged right up.  I'll switch to 7 minute run portions soon.

Total time 1:11:54, including several stoplights.  Distance probably about 5.5 miles.  400 M splits: 2:38, 2:36, 2:42, 2:24, total for 1600 M = 10:20.

Miles for Myeloma 5k in Philadelphia

Saturday, April 22, 2017:

The weather was gloomy but speeches were short and spirits were bright.  Somewhere near 1100 runners gathered to run and walk through one of the most attractive parks in the city of Philadelphia.  Fruit trees are in bloom, and lawns are just ready for their first mowing.

This time I chose to run with my sweeties, Ardis & Sarah.  We finished together in 53:36, earning Ardis first place in her 60+ age group.  We enjoyed this run/race very much.  The race was hosted by the Philadelphia Myeloma Support Group and the International Myeloma Foundation.

A Bunch of Runs

Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

Still running 6 minutes out of every 10.  Tough run today for some reason, 5.2 miles in 1:02:30.

Monday, April 17:

Pretty good, running 6 minutes of every 10, somewhat hilly..  5.3 miles in 59:58.

Saturday, April 15:

3/4 Mile no walking   On the 400 M track, and a total of 5.2 miles in 1:00:00.  Not bad.

Wednesday, Apr 12

Finally a great run   After several difficult ones.  Same route today as last Sunday, but such a different result.  I'm running 6 minutes of each 10-minute interval these days, for a total of 60 minutes.  Today's route includes a pretty stiff hill in the first 6-minute running segments.  Three days ago that hill was agony, but today I just chugged up there without much trouble.

The rest of the run went just as well.  In fact one of the 6-minute running segments was shortened to 5 by a phone call, so I added a minute on the end, making the last segment 7 minutes instead of 6, and uphill to boot.  It was hard work, but not really a problem.  My very first 7-minute running segment.

One or two more good runs with 6-minute running segments and I'll be ready to run 7 minutes of every 10 for the whole hour. Therapist Katie wants me to get to running 3 miles with no walking.  Heading that way.

5.3 miles in 1:00:18, pace 11:23.

Sunday, April 9:

Difficult again.  5.3 miles in 1:01:00.

Friday, April 7:

Hard work.  Running 6 minutes of every 10 now, it's taking more energy.  Today I ran/walked to the 400-meter track (about 2.1 miles), then a mile on the track, and another 2.1 back home.  I maintained the 6-minute runs throughout, except for one interval which was entirely uphill.  I shortened that interval to 5 minutes.

Splits: 26:01, 2:24 (pace 9:33), 2:26 (pace 9:47), 30:38, total 1:01:29, distance 5.2 miles, overall pace 11:50.  Includes three stops at stoplights.

Wednesday, April 5:

Difficult run

Saturday, April 1:

Six minutes of running   And four of walking, six times in a row.  Getting  closer to running continuously - last week I was doing five and five.  No injuries so far.  This was an out-and-back on a lovely new, paved, rails-to-trails bike and pedestrian trail, with some running friends literally leading the way.

I tried to turn around at exactly the right time to finish at exactly 56 minutes, skipping the last walk portion.  However, the trip out was slightly uphill and the trip back exactly that much downhill, so I arrived at 54:47, about a minute and a quarter early, and the last running interval was that much short.

So what.  I fuss about that picayune sort of stuff, but it won't matter in the long run.  Next week I'll run the same 6/4 run/walk ratio and include some significant hills.  After that 7/3, then 8/2 and 9/1, and finally no walking at all.  Barring injuries, this should happen in April.  Katie wants me to stretch it out to 3 miles, which is about 30 minutes at the pace that I've been running,

From there I suppose I'll increase the distance by 10% per week.  Maybe a bit more per week, since I've been doing an hour of walk/run for months now.  I'll ask Katie.

Thursday, March 30:

Another 5 miles   Five different neighborhoods, so connected to each other that there were no traffic lights.  The worst hill on this route is just five minutes from our home, so after the first 10 minutes I've done the worst of the route and the rest seems easier.

Running 5 minutes of each 10 today.

5.3 miles in 1:01:50, pace 11:40.

Monday, March 27:

400 meter track & back   Lovely run, hilly some of the way, but with a  very nice outdoor track at the far end of the route.  Today I ran to the track, then ran a mile (four laps) on the track, and home again, running 5 minutes of each 10.

As usual, the first 5 minutes of running were the hardest, but after that it was easier.  On the track I timed two running laps, doing a pace of 10.1 min/mi for one, and 9:35 for the second.

25:18, 2:30, 2:23, 29:44, total 59:55, 5.07 miles, pace 11:49.