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Rebuilding the Run

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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:55 pm

It is a challenging place to be for sure. On one hand I want to just let things heal. On the other hand I have CIM in 4 weeks, so a rather persistent voice telling me to get going again.  And unless one has been through this before it is a bit of trial and (hopefully not to much) error to recover at the appropriate rate with appropriate level of effort.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:35 pm

So, if if it is 61 degrees and sunny out, why is it that I'm freezing my ass off?  Could have something to do with the fact that I'm sitting on a couple of ice packs post-run.  Numb butt syndrome is now a real thing.


Decided I'd shoot for 5-6 miles today depending on how things felt.  Started out and had to stop within the first 50 steps to give the right hamstring a really good static stretch.  I've moved away from pre-run static stretching in favor of dynamic stretching, but today needed to go the extra bit.  Still a bit clunky for the first quarter mile but then just discomfort which lessened as the distance increased.  Finding that the biggest issue occurs as I extend my leg forward, so had no problem keeping a high cadence with the shorter stride length today.  I also found that my HR was higher than normal, I'm guessing that I am unconsciously tightening up muscles to protect the injury, thus driving the heart rate up.


The run was really slow, averaging a 9:17 pace.  I found that if I started to push it any faster, the discomfort started to increase, and I'm really working hard on not overdoing it so I can recover.  Ended up with 5.5 miles, seriously fighting the urge to go 6 because, well, 6 is a nice round number and it is 1 more than 5, right?  And it would have doubled yesterday's run keeping the trend going, right?  I'll see how things feel as the day progresses and may just take tomorrow as a rest/healing day if the body so indicates.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  nkrichards on Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:57 am

What!!!! An injury??? Sounds like you're taking care of it and it's responding reasonably well...take care.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Well, yesterday my sports doc rained all over my parade.  He diagnosed me with a minor piriformis strain and a proximal hamstring strain.  He's advised me to focus on cross training for the near term and wrote me up for 2x/wk PT for the next 4 weeks.  That being said, I did see a significant improvement in the level of discomfort yesterday (took it as a rest day anyway!) and that has carried over into today. 

So where does that leave me with respect to CIM.  I guess the best answer is right now I'm in limbo, it could go either way.  I'm a fast healer, but this injury kinda goes right to the core of running with high stress points.  Since my CIM goal is to BQ, if I don't think I can do that, I question whether or not I'll even run it if I'm 'healthy'.  It's not that the BQ is everything, it's just that there's a chance of delaying the full healing process with a 26.2 effort.   It is frustrating as all hell because I've never had a better training cycle and all indications were that I was going to have a great race.  I was just allowing myself to get a little excited about the prospects when everything went SPROING!

Met with my PT today.  She knows me well, where I am in training, and is a runner.  After her assessment we are adopting a plan that still has a bit of running involved with it - every other day, 3 miles max, and a pace no faster than a 9:00 mile for now.  Why the running?  She feels that if running is completely eliminated from the equation for an extended period, when I start back up it will be an invitation to injury for all the muscle groups that will be called upon.  These runs will incorporate additional dynamic stretching before and after the run.  Layered on top of that will be strengthening and stretching exercises 2-3x/day, and 2-3 yoga sessions per week (Me?  Yoga?  This will be entertaining for someone).  Is it going to be the magic bullet?  Only time will tell.

That's the negative, here's the positive.  Got back into the pool and swam 2000 straight without dying.  It wasn't fast, but it was consistent and got my pulse rate up to mid-130's which is good enough for the aerobic needs.  It was only 37 minutes and I think I'll need to stretch that out to at least an hour to keep the CV system ticking over in some sort of efficient order.  Did my 3 mile gentle run today and wasn't too bad.  HR is still higher than normal, but that is not a surprise.  When the HR starts getting back to normal, that'll be a good sign healing is taking place.

I'm open to other ideas that don't involve the problem areas to get the aerobic training time in.  They've got a hand-crank bike thingy (I'm sure it has an official cool name) at the gym I might take a look at.  Any suggestions?
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:23 am

What about pool running?  http://running.competitor.com/2012/10/training/aqua-jogging-for-injured-runners_60267


Does the elliptical hurt the area?  It serves as another good cardio exercise when you can't run, and I ran Boston in 2009 with a lot of the above in my training.


Also, I had dry needling done for my piriformis and hamstring back in 2012 prior to Boston.  I also incorporated the exercises and stretches that I'm sure your PT will have you do.  I also continued running and after 3 sessions, I was actually about 98% healed.  I continued to go for the entire prescribed number of weeks and in spite of the warm Boston temps (89F), I ran vey well.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:48 pm

Michele, thanks for the great feedback.  All the pools I have used are too shallow for aqua running, but there has got to be something in the area.  I know of a nice once about 40 minutes away, so that's an alternative - will just have to work around SF bay area traffic!  My PT told me to stay off the elliptical for now, not because it is a bad alternative, she knows me and feels that I would tend to go too hard on it too soon, especially if it felt good.  So that is bookmarked to revisit in a week or so.  Also, thanks for giving me hope with your experience.  Right now it seems all doom and gloom, but it seems to be that way with all my injuries that threaten a race.

My PT thinks the major issue we have to address is the proximal hamstring strain as opposed to the piriformis, that the former is actually contributing to the latter more than the piriformis is misbehaving on it's own.  We'll treat both, but really make sure we target the hamstring as the priority.  Today will be yoga with a bit of cross-friction massage, a regimen of PT-based strength and stretch, and 3-4 dog walks totaling 4.5-6 miles.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:11 pm

How shallow?  I used to swim in a 4ft deep pool in Atlanta, and I used to "pool run" by actually running in the pool rather than deep water running.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:25 pm

My go to pool is 3.5-4.5 feet deep, so a definite possibility. Thanks!
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:45 pm

Hip / pelvic pain is hard to cross-train with.  I had hip flexor tendonitis for a good full year after I had surgery, and it's a matter of trial and error to see which activities you can do.  I would try pool-running (not the deep water, but shallow), but be careful because the increased resistance from the water could theoretically aggravate it.  I think the idea of maintaining some gentle running is good too.  Can you bike, or does that bother it? 
Hopefully CIM will still work out for you.  When will you decide?
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:15 pm

Kathy, I haven't tried the bike yet.  I struggle with staying slow on the bike, so will likely wait on that until things are a bit further along.  As to the decision point on CIM, I'm not really sure, I'm just going to see how it goes.  It may depend how successful I can be in convincing myself that this is just an early/extended taper.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:27 pm

After a couple of days of incorporating the PT and the yoga, got to go on my short run today.  Was supposed to be 3 miles but we got to chatting about the PT plan and ended up with about 3.8 miles.  Hamstring was better and the nerve issue from the piriformis has gone away.  When I did my last two runs my HR was somewhat elevated, actually moving into zone 2 at a pace >9:00/mi.  Today, the pace eased itself up into the 8:40's and HR never got out of zone 1.  It is too early to be optimistic about chances of making CIM, but I'll take the small gains for now.  Now to see if I can talk myself into going to the pool later today.  Tried to convince myself to do it when I got up, but myself elected to ease more slowly into the day.  If Halloween were tomorrow, I'd have to think about being Slothman.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:47 pm

So the day continued and I kept active, trying to keep the aerobic engine ticking over.  Dogs got about 5 miles of walks, again.  Succeeded in convincing myself to get into the pool and did a 2500 yd/46 minute straight swim.  One more PT session today and I'll be able to call it a day.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  nkrichards on Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:57 pm

Glad to hear things are improving even if they aren't improving as quickly as you'd like. Hope you make it to the CIM starting line...tough call that only you can make.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:39 am

Yesterday I was going nuts not running, had already taken the dogs on two walks, so decided to go for a swim and knocked off 2500 straight then say, why not, and threw in another 500 for good measure.  Felt better.  Got home and Abby, my female pooch meets me at the door wagging her tail wildly, and limping on 3 legs favoring her front right.  I'm guessing she jumped down from the window seat and landed wrong.  Palpated from the tip of the nails up into the shoulder but didn't get any protestations from her.  So this morning, Limpy (her) and Gimpy (me) go to the vet to have her checked out.  The vet did a much more thorough manipulation of the damaged limb than I did (I did not know a dog's leg could stick out 90 degrees from the body) and at the end, she was unable to pinpoint the damage but believes there's no break, it is soft tissue.  So my dog and I get in the car, head home and take our NSAIDs side by side.  *sigh*  She's 9 years old and at one point in the car on the way home she turned and looked at me and I swear I could read her mind, "Getting old sucks, doesn't it Gimpy?"
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:13 pm

Pretty adorable story about the pup.  I wouldn't scrap CIM plans yet...  You've put a ton of work into it, have raced a PR on the way, and you only have what, 3 weeks to go?  The only thing you're going to lose between now and then is confidence.  Your fitness won't abandon you that quickly.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  nkrichards on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:15 pm

Sounds like Limpy and Gimpy are quite the pair. Smile

Nice job on the swimming. I've found it very helpful in maintaining cardio fitness when I can't run as often as I'd like.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:42 am

What a pair! Keep getting as much aerobic as you can. You're rolling into taper, and the hay us in the barn. Let's keep hoping you make it to the starting line.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:16 am

I'm happy to report that Limpy seems to be feeling better today and is petitioning for a nickname change.  I'm going to give her a break from our frequent walks for a few days though, just to be sure.  It is tough when I leash up Buddy to go with me and Limpy sits there with her big brown eyes looking at me like "What did I do to deserve being left at home?"

Gimpy, on the other hand, is still in limbo.  Yesterday's short run was terrible.  Had to actually cut it short as the level of discomfort was increasing for the first time.  Yesterday afternoon went and had a Graston session on the affected areas.  Today was a rest day, but everything felt great. During my PT session, I had better flexibility and less pain under stress.  I have another run tomorrow, so keeping my fingers crossed. 
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:34 am

Glad to hear that Limpy is on her way back.  I have an almost 10 yr old dog, so I get it.  Good news is that she doesn't like the cold much, so she is cutting her own walks short - lol.

As for Gimpy, well just stay the course.  No need to pull any plugs until the end if even necessary at all.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  mountandog on Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:37 am

no plug pulling yet.  big base can still yield good results even with a less than desirable finish to a training cycle.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:45 pm

Huzzah!  Gimpy ran 6 miles today with only minimal discomfort!  They were intentionally slow miles, 9:33 avg, but it is the first 6 mile run I've been able to do since before the HM.  And HR behaved with an avg of a 129.  Sweet!

The encouragement you guys have been giving has really helped.  Tuesday's run, to put it mildly, sucked.  Had to stop at a pitiful 2 miles as it was really starting to hurt.  I went into a really dark funk thinking that was it, no chance for CIM.  But after seeing all your positive responses, I couldn't give up and today was unbelievably good!

So, as I type I am icing my butt.  I share this with you so that I can share this with you: My PT recommended an ice pack that is way better than the other ones I have.  It is by a company called Chattanooga and is called ColPaC.  It comes in a number of sizes and has a really think outer cover and holds the cold waaaaaaaay longer than all my other ones.  Amazon has it here: http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Pack-ColPaC-Polyurethane-Oversize/dp/B000TG16N0/ref=sr_1_4?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1416425445&sr=1-4&keywords=cool+packs  The are a bit more expensive, but well worth it.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:40 pm

That ice pack may be expensive, but it's cheaper than buying a plane ticket to a colder climate so you can sit in the snow!

Glad things are improving. Keep it easy for now and ride the upward trend all the way to the starting line.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  nkrichards on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:21 pm

Good to hear that there is still hope and that you're taking it easy and allowing things to heal...
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Tom H on Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:53 pm

After my really great run on Wednesday, Thursday was to be a rest day.  But I go nuts without activity so I decided to make a big 'ol pot of chili since the weather forecast called for rainy, windy cooler weather.  So I'm browning the meat and take the trays the meat came in to the outside trash so they don't stink up the kitchen in the inside can and find the rain has started.  Back into the house on to the entryway tile and sliiiiiiip - the right foot shoots out in front of me.  I catch myself but the hamstring declares a code red and it was up to my mouth to sound the alarm.  Limpy and Buddy were looking for places to hide as the first long sound out of my mouth was " NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"  Followed closely by "*&%*, [email=#@%$]#@%$[/email], %*^&%+!!!!!!!!".  And then it went downhill from there.  Turned off the heat under the pan, grabbed my icepack and did 2 cycles of 20 minutes on/20 minutes off icing it.  I could see the door to CIM closing right then and there.  The day went on and my angry hamstring was quite vocal, but quieted down eventually.  Continued doing my regularly scheduled PT and adding in icing a few more times.

The next day was to be an ambitious 13 mile run, but I made the call to take a rest day to let the immediate trauma settle.  So this morning, got up at 5 am, walked the dogs as a warmup, did my pre-run stretching routine and set out with my partner for the run.  I did not know if I'd be able to go one mile, five miles, or something else.  We were running back at the site of the injury, Coyote Hills, and I had to choose whether to run a course that was mostly flat, or run the periphery which was rolling hills, but nothing too big or steep.  Since CIM is rolling hills, I chose the latter to see how the hammie would respond.  Well, I'm happy to say that I got in the full 13 with no pain, just an awareness of the injury.  I did find my HR was a bit higher after the break I've been forced to take, but not too bad.  We pushed the pace a little, not too much, and I ran it at an 8:45 avg, which is 33 sec/mile slower than race pace.  Overall, I'm pleased with the results and am pushing forward for the race.

Now, that being said, here's what it looks like:

Nov 2 - Kickass HM with a 5 minute PR
Nov 5 - Hamstring/Piriformis strain occurs
Week of Nov 6-13 - 12 miles avg  ~ 9:10 pace
Week of Nov 13-19 - 12 miles avg ~9:20 pace
Today - 13 miles avg 8:45 pace.

So, my mind is whirling with thoughts like - the race is in 2 weeks.  As such, I should be starting taper now.  I'm also still recovering.  The hay is in the barn as they say (the question is, did I let the rain that fell just before harvest dry off enough before baling, or will I have a mold problem?) so running lots of miles is probably not needed.  But then my aerobic fitness has already had a 2 week break, what happens with it now taking two more weeks of declining effort - or because I've declined so much in the last 2 weeks will the next week or two actually be a higher effort?  Do I really push the swimming to try and give the aerobic engine a boost next week without beating up the legs?  Aaarrggggggh!

OK, I guess I qualify for taper.  Maybe TaperMax.
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Re: Rebuilding the Run

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Nov 22, 2014 4:21 pm

Best thing to do in taper is low volume high intensity.  Mimic race conditions every 3-4 days and everything else is rest or recovery.  Might be tough with the butt twinge, but take it for what it's worth.
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