Sunday, July 31, 2011

Catching up from LA

I'm on the road again...  which means its time for another catchup session from afar....

Once again the topic most on my mind in terms of S/B/R is the R.  I took a nice easy week to recover from racing the Amica 70.3 and focused most of my attention on swimming and biking.  Well that and recovering.  I had the pleasure of getting sick right after the Amica and spent some time on Antibiotics to get back to being healthy again.  I suspect swimming in the bacteria filled water of Lincoln Woods got to me and I came down with a sinus infection, tickle in my throat and some lovely night sweats and fevers.  Joy!  So with a week of time spent only on my road bike and a bit of swimming I figured I'd spend this week away in LA focused on mostly running.  Which makes sense as I'm away from my bike and a decent pool anyway.

So my week went someting like this....

Monday:  2 hour long run.  Felt pretty rough but not totally awful.  I was running on tired legs after a 62 mile ride the day before so I didn't stress about pace too much.  By the end I was down to ten minute miles.  Definitely slower than my usual long run efforts.  Afterwards I was quite sore.

Tuesday:  great swim interval session in the morning followed by an hour of bike intervals, and then off to the airport to fly to LA.

Wednesday:  six mile run in the early am before heading into work.  Felt ok...   but not fabulous.  Then proceeded to work a very long day on my feet in constant motion on a concrete floor all day.  UGH!

Thursday:  another six miler in the morning before work.  Felt worse than the day before, but not totally awfull.  Averaged just under 9 minute miles.  Then another long day on concrete.

Friday:  Got up and planned on doing another long run as this was the best time in my work schedule to fit it in.  I manged 1.5 miles before I stopped running altogether and went back to the hotel.  My legs were absolutely shot.  Two days on concrete really wears me down and I knew it was in my best interest to call it a day.  I was already down to ten minute miles right out of the gate which was a giant red flag that it was time to stop.

Saturday:  took it off as my legs still felt sore.

Sunday (today):  set my alarm for 4:30 to try and get my long run in.  After a long day at work the day before I just couldn't do it.  Snoozed the alarm for an hour and decided to just run for one hour.  So I got up at 5:30 and went out for a run.  It was raining out which I was kind of happy for.  I like running in the rain as long as it isn't an absolute downpour so I really enjoyed the first few miles.  Rain quiets a city down and drowns out all the other sounds.  I find it really relaxing to run in.  I did my best to focus on form as much as possible and focused on keeping my shoulders directly above my hips.  This seemed to help me a lot to relax a bit.  However I'm very sad to say that I can't run without discomfort anymore.  Its there all the time now and its still very much slowing me down.  I averaged 8:30s today after a couple of days off so my legs felt a bit fresher.

I spent a lot of the run today thinking about B2B and the marathon that lies at the end of it.  I know now with 100% certainty that it will be near impossible to meet my goal of running a four hour marathon at B2B.  My strength (running) has now become my largest weakness.  Unless a miracle happens between now and then its highly likely I will have to do a LOT of walking in the marathon.  I suspect I may be able to run for 13 miles at most.  I think my hopes to go sub 13 may be unrealistic now.  Which is very much a shame and I hate that I'm going to be completing my first full ironman on legs that aren't 100%.  I'm in constant discomfort when I run.  Actually I'm in constant discomfort period.  It doesnt affect my swimming or cycling but I am aware of the pain and issues in my leg 100% of the time now.  Even sitting here I can feel that something is wrong with my leg.  Unfortunately its elluded my doctors and physical therapists.  I've given up on all that as they tell me I'm fine despite my complaints.  Which is their way of saying they don't know whats wrong with me.  Its incredibly frustrating.  Completing an Ironman is hard enough without having to deal with this going on at the same time.

So what do about it?

Well for now I'm going to change up my running plan to the following.  Unless something improves here is my plan...   I'm going to up my run frequency to four times a week and reduce the length of my long runs.  I will do no runs in training longer than two hours.  I'll just run more often.  Most of my runs will be an hour tops.  My hope is to build as large a run base as I can while doing the least amount of damage to my leg.  With any luck this will get me across the finish line in one piece.

A week from now I have the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Providence.  I think thats going to be the day my friends finally start to figure out theres something wrong with me.  People dont seem to want to listen to it and keep telling me I'll get my speed back this season.  I'll be lucky to run the half in less than two hours I think.  I suspect I'm going to get beat by a lot of my friends that would not be able to do so when I'm at my best.  Its going to be humbling to watch them go past me and know I can't do anything about it even if I wanted to.  Its also sad to know that I'll be doing all my training runs solo for the rest of the year.  I need to be really carefull with my pace and I need to run at MY pace 100% of the time whatever that is in a given moment.  Running with other people isn't going to allow me to do that as my ego is going to get in the way.

I'm pretty bummed out about all this...    I know in the grand scheme of things I'm very fortunate but I'm saddened about it all.  For now I can only hope that taking the entire winter off from running and biking will allow my leg to completely heal up.  My plan is to do nothing but swim all winter.  Hopefuly with a coach.  I just hope I can attack next year feeling 100% as quite frankly not being able to race to my potential sucks!  Especially having such a great season last year.

In other news...   the girl and I have decided to aim for Ironman Florida next year!  So here's hoping I'll be 100% by then.

I'm in LA till tuesday and then its back to another big training block with the Timberman half in there as well which should be fun.  Well at least I hope its fun.  Could be another sufferfest with an awful run at the end of it but I hope not!


  1. My friend Tracy swears by walk run at a ratio of 7 minutes (run) 1 minute (walk). She started doing this after an injury. Her pace at the time was 9mm. Now she runs 8mm with the walk break. The concept is the walk break reduces the damage to your muscles by shifting around the work load. I'm giving it a try as I increase my trail running mileage. Worth trying on a short run and see how your legs feel :)

  2. Definitely something to think about... however traditionally I have issues resuming the same pace when I stop to walk. Then again though I've never focused on trying to get it right before. Thanks for the idea.