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MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

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MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:47 am

I have a torn meniscus (medial, right knee), which manifested itself on Mother's Day, during a 10K race. I've been idle since then, and it was getting no better for a couple of weeks, and then I started to get some medical attention for it, leading to an MRI. Though it started to feel a lot better, I've just stayed off it, no biking, no running, waiting to see what the deal was. Well, I saw the super-duper knee doc today, and his best advice was that an old man like me should stop whining and resume my normal activities, and we'll see what happens. I told him that my normal activities this summer would be training for MCM. He didn't take it back after he heard that, so here we go.

Like I said, I've been doing no running at all, and no biking, since I crossed the finish line of the 10K, so have had 5 weeks off. I sure feel well-rested! This Sunday I will be 19 weeks out from MCM, so one week from my planned start of the training schedule. I had already planned on taking this training schedule real easy, after running three marathons last year, and just enjoy the race this time, which I'm running with one of my college buddies, who really was the guy who got me interested in this distance. I think that approach fits with my zero-to-26.2 plan! Although I've run two halfs this year, I didn't push the dial in either, and my training up to the 10K was that of a relative slacker, so not the best base.

My daughters have been going up to the Airline Trail (the rail trail where I log a lot of miles) and running and biking together of late (one rides, and goes ahead, and circles back, while the other runs), so I think I'll do that with them tomorrow and Sunday, easy, easy, planning a short run one day and a short bike ride the other, and start that way.

Hopefully, this will either work fine, or completely unravel in a week. Worst-case would be that I train up and then it gets bad in September and needs scoping then.

So MCM or bust! I hope if I bust, it happens soon...
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:13 am

Good luck... I think that you are taking the right approach by taking it easy and mixing in some biking.  Keep us updated on your progress!!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:30 am

Good luck.  I'm very interested in following this on a number of levels because you have a meniscus tear as I did and you are doing my favorite marathon, my hometown MCM!   By the way, I found that doing time on the elliptical did not bother my meniscus injury either pre or post surgery and so that was a way I kept going when back to back days of running were not possible.  I've been phasing it out some but still will probably do 1-2 workouts a week on the elliptical going forward and I recommend it as an alternative to the mill or running outside.

MCM is a great race and we'll talk specifics about it as we get into the Fall.  There are few logistical oddities we'll cover but in general its a wonderful race.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:37 am

Keeping my fingers crossed for a good training cycle! Did the super-de-duper-doc suggest any types of activities to avoid? Or exercises that'll reduce the potential for further injury? Knowing either of those things might be helpful going forward.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:51 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:Good luck... I think that you are taking the right approach by taking it easy and mixing in some biking.  Keep us updated on your progress!!

Will do - I just hope the progress progresses...
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:52 pm

@Mark B wrote:Keeping my fingers crossed for a good training cycle! Did the super-de-duper-doc suggest any types of activities to avoid? Or exercises that'll reduce the potential for further injury? Knowing either of those things might be helpful going forward.

Thanks Mark. I'm looking forward to a non-stressful one, I hope.

He said anything that is likely to put twisting pressure on the knee is likely to aggravate it. Cycling is supposed to be great. He did not recommend specific strengthening exercises.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:57 pm

@Chris M wrote:Good luck.  I'm very interested in following this on a number of levels because you have a meniscus tear as I did and you are doing my favorite marathon, my hometown MCM!   By the way, I found that doing time on the elliptical did not bother my meniscus injury either pre or post surgery and so that was a way I kept going when back to back days of running were not possible.  I've been phasing it out some but still will probably do 1-2 workouts a week on the elliptical going forward and I recommend it as an alternative to the mill or running outside.

MCM is a great race and we'll talk specifics about it as we get into the Fall.  There are few logistical oddities we'll cover but in general its a wonderful race.

If I do the elliptical I will suffer a severe head injury (it's in our basement, and the ceiling is so low that I can't use it - my wife, who is short, has no problem!).

It'll be nice to get some downloads from you about the race, assuming I stay healthy. They just sent out a notice that they are taking the course back onto the Rock Creek Parkway this year, after the Key Bridge, which they stopped doing a few years ago. Course updates are coming later this summer. I got lost running around in Rock Creek Park over that way back in April, and turned a 6 mile run into a 10 mile run, so became more familiar with the area than I expected.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Sounds like a plan Michael. I did a 0 to 26.2 plan recently and ran 3 races off it. Just take it one day at a time. I still recommend quad strengthening exercises which is probably why cycling is a good option
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:15 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Sounds like a plan Michael. I did a 0 to 26.2 plan recently and ran 3 races off it.  Just take it one day at a time.  I still recommend quad strengthening exercises which is probably why cycling is a good option

This would be a good idea for me no matter what. I've had two training cycles interrupted by quad strains. I've just been too lazy to do it!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:08 pm

And so it begins!

Nice easy 4 mile run on the rail trail this afternoon, with my two daughters, one running with me, the other on the bike, heading off in different directions and then looping back. Took it slow. Even slower than I expected. My daughter Caroline, who is 19 and was running with me, has a new pair of shoes and they are making her crazy. Same model of ASICS that she had before, but she says these make her feet hot. I swear she's a psycho. So we kept stopping so she could mess with her shoes. Normally I would find this frustrating, but since it was my first run in 5 weeks and I was trying out my knee, etc., it was just fine.

Beautiful day here. The trail was pretty wet in spots after all the rain we've had in the last week or so, but the sun and perfect temps made up for any of that. 

Gracie (17) was on the bike, and complained that at one point on the trail that Caroline and I didn't get to, there was a lake across the trail, so she had to turn back. She was a bit peeved about that. I may take out the bike and check that out with her tomorrow, if she's willing. She's off to some graduation parties for her friends who are seniors, and the driving has both of us parents nervous. She just hasn't had that much mileage in the car. 

That'll give me something to worry about - just what I need!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Glad the knee held up! I think you ought to have your daughters with you on all your training runs. They make great distractions, and they keep you from pushing it too hard, too soon. Wink

Tell Caroline that she can solve the problem of hot shoes by just taking the shoes off! Ah, bliss.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:34 pm

@Mark B wrote:
Glad the knee held up! I think you ought to have your daughters with you on all your training runs. They make great distractions, and they keep you from pushing it too hard, too soon. Wink

Tell Caroline that she can solve the problem of hot shoes by just taking the shoes off! Ah, bliss.

Thanks Mark, it all felt fine, which was nice.
They are a good distraction - I keep telling them it's ok to take it easy, so it's hard to ignore my own advice.
She would be mortified without shoes, so that's no dice, no way, no how.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:42 pm

Glad to hear that the knee was alright for your first run in 5 weeks.  Continue to take it slow and hopefully things will get a little bit more back to normal.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:40 pm

@Michael Enright wrote:She would be mortified without shoes, so that's no dice, no way, no how.

Well, that's what'd make the suggestion so perfect! Think of her response as a Father's Day gift! Approval
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:46 am

Thanks guys!

Had a nice, short (10 mile) bike ride with Gracie (my 17 year old daughter) yesterday afternoon. Beautiful day, easy ride, nice company - a great Father's Day present! She's funny - she just takes off and plows through all the puddles and bumps (trail is stone dust, sometimes just dirt, and gets cut up by rivulets of water in the heavy rain we've had and some big puddles and muddy spots). Her tires are more mountain-bike type, while mine are somewhat closer to street tires, so I'm a bit more hesitant! But it was a lot of fun. She had a lot of mud on her when we were done.

Knee still feels good, so things are looking up.

This is a funny week, because I'll be travelling W/Th/Fr/Sa/Su. Hope to get a run in today or tomorrow, and then I'll take my stuff with me and we'll see what I can squeeze in. We'll be in Chicago on the south side with my Dad (turned 86 yesterday!), for a family wedding, and usually I do well running the streets of Beverly and Morgan Park in the a.m.

Then I get back and we are into MCM training. Plan for that is to keep it simple, model after HH Int I, and not add extra miles, I think. Fill in with the bike as needed, if the knee starts to go haywire. Should get me through.

My two high school kids are done with school (finally - thanks to Superstorm Sandy) this week, so when I get back from Chicago I can go back to running in the morning before work, through the end of August. I like that.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:53 am



Here's Gracie on her mud-throwing vehicle.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:05 am

@Michael Enright wrote:
@Chris M wrote:Good luck.  I'm very interested in following this on a number of levels because you have a meniscus tear as I did and you are doing my favorite marathon, my hometown MCM!   By the way, I found that doing time on the elliptical did not bother my meniscus injury either pre or post surgery and so that was a way I kept going when back to back days of running were not possible.  I've been phasing it out some but still will probably do 1-2 workouts a week on the elliptical going forward and I recommend it as an alternative to the mill or running outside.

MCM is a great race and we'll talk specifics about it as we get into the Fall.  There are few logistical oddities we'll cover but in general its a wonderful race.

If I do the elliptical I will suffer a severe head injury (it's in our basement, and the ceiling is so low that I can't use it - my wife, who is short, has no problem!).

It'll be nice to get some downloads from you about the race, assuming I stay healthy. They just sent out a notice that they are taking the course back onto the Rock Creek Parkway this year, after the Key Bridge, which they stopped doing a few years ago. Course updates are coming later this summer. I got lost running around in Rock Creek Park over that way back in April, and turned a 6 mile run into a 10 mile run, so became more familiar with the area than I expected.

Kevin Fitzgerald told me they are going to back to the (very) old course when I ran with him yesterday.  I'll have to look that up.  There's a fairly significant climb at Mile 7 on the course I know well and the area you are now talking about with the re-route might take that out.  But anything up Rock Creek Park from DC is likely uphill on the way out and down on the way back to the Mall and Capitol but I'll research it.  Here's one thing to tell you now that you MUST remember until race day...MCM is self seeding in the pre race pen only.  No corrals placement.  They just rely on the honor system to have people line up by the various pace signs saying "this is for 6:00-6:30 pace", "this is for 11:00-12:00 pace" etc.  Its part of the whole MCM ethos of no prize money, no elites and "People's Marathon" vibe.  Fine and even cool except that as you might expect a lot of people don't follow it.  If you honestly line up where you should based on the signage, you will be WALKING the first mile.  There will literally be thousands of very slow jog/walkers in front of you if you, say, line up at the "9:00 pace" sign.  So.....you have to move yourself up to near the front and then let the real fast people up there just go and stay to the side and find your pace in the early mile.  By the uphill mile in mile 2 this is all over and everyone is where they should be but it will ruin your race at the start if you can't even run for the first mile and log 15:00 for Mile 1.  So I want you to move all the way up to where speedy Kevin Fitzgerald (he'll be doing sub 3:10 I bet) will be and then just let him race of and you settle in with just normal big race crowding and not being blocked from running.

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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:25 am

Thanks for that, Chris. You're right, that would make me absolutely nuts. I've run races like that (though none as big as MCM) and found it incredibly frustrating, and then even ran too fast in the next few miles, thinking I was making up for it, and just wearing myself out.

I also think you are right on the money about the elevation profile impact the course change will bring. I checked out the profile of that leg that will be replaced when I was heading to DC in the spring (ABA meeting) and noticed that it was a hill. In touting the change, MCM referenced the fact that this will be flatter. Makes sense that'll it'll be somewhat uphill as we head away from the river, and downhill on the way back to that general area.

Of course, I've never run on the parkway itself (that would be interesting in traffic), I've run some of the trail, and from that vantage point, the parkway looks pretty nice (great views of those giant bridges, too, I expect, like the one that carries Connecticut Ave over). I did run through some long tunnel that the parkway or some other road goes through not too far from the zoo, on this tiny narrow sidewalk, the day I got lost. Wow, that was an interesting experience...
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  KBFitz on Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:51 pm

Hey Michael. Don't bust. Take it easy and be consistent. The course this year will reward you. I'm showing a full image of the 2006 MCM course below [it may naot fully show on the screen so download it if you're interested]. That course will likely be very close to what we will run this year. Now I don't have an elevation profile, but 2nd hill that had been in miles 7-9 in the course since 2008 [MacArthur Blvd in the Palisades] shall be gone and we'll get a nice slightly rolling Rock Creek Parkway instead. I'm already looking forward to it. Semper fi. - k

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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:10 pm

MCM is indeed a rewarding course as it is where I ran my PR!  Just take it slow an steady this summer.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:40 pm

@KBFitz wrote:Hey Michael. Don't bust. Take it easy and be consistent. The course this year will reward you. I'm showing a full image of the 2006 MCM course below [it may naot fully show on the screen so download it if you're interested]. That course will likely be very close to what we will run this year. Now I don't have an elevation profile, but 2nd hill that had been in miles 7-9 in the course since 2008 [MacArthur Blvd in the Palisades] shall be gone and we'll get a nice slightly rolling Rock Creek Parkway instead. I'm already looking forward to it. Semper fi. - k


Thanks much, Kevin, that's nice to have. And I will do my best not to bust.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:41 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:MCM is indeed a rewarding course as it is where I ran my PR!  Just take it slow an steady this summer.

That's the plan, Michele. Just going to take it one run at a time.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:40 pm

Shhh, don't tell Schuey or Dave yet but I'm actively considering switching from Chicago to MCM as my Fall goal race.  A little more time to actually get ready and have between my BQ attempt at Erie in mid-September and the real race in October.  And the family doesn't think they can come to Chicago but would go out and support me in DC.  Not done yet but now I'm reading all of this with even more interest and wanting to join you guys out there.  heck, even if I do stick with Chicago, I'll come out and cheer you on.  I'm hoping Kevin's map is not what they do because that would have the course hitting the halfway mark out by the Mall and then hitting Hains Point (a lonely stretch) later in the race.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:41 am

Ok, it's our little secret! The more, the merrier!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:32 pm

If you're looking for a place to stay, I stayed at the Virginian Suites, which is a quarter mile from the Iwo Jima Memorial.  It was nice to be so close.

Good luck on the training!
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