Showing posts with label knee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knee. Show all posts

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pre-run generator attack

Now I have two reasons to hate this thing
Today's run (street): 3.5 miles

It's never a good sign when you get injured before you even run. That was the case this morning when I was preparing to go out for a few miles. I stepped outside and turned on my Garmin to get a GPS signal before walking to the end of my driveway to get the empty recycling bin. As I put the bin back in the garage, I caught the edge of my reviled generator, opening up a 1" gash on my knee.

The wound looked serious and I ran inside to dress it. After dousing it with rubbing alcohol and Calahist lotion, I put on a large bandage and secured it with surgical tape. My wife had just finished her treadmill run when I came upstairs to get the tape. She saw my bandaged knee and said, "Did you trip again?" I explained that it wasn't running related and headed out the door.

The temperature was mild and the sky was overcast, nice conditions for this time of year. I wasn't motivated to do a long run today, so I did a variation of my regular route. I had initially thought about heading to the high school to run the track, but I didn't want to deal with people clogging up the lanes. Happily, my neighborhood streets were quiet and I only saw a couple of walkers and one cyclist.

My knee held up fine and I ended up with my third run this week, along with Wednesday's elliptical session. While they were all under four miles, there's something to be said for frequency. Later in the afternoon, my son and I did a long walk around the neighborhood. By then the weather had turned rainy, but we wore our hooded running raincoats and stayed dry and comfortable.

We wrapped up our walk by cutting through the middle school and came upon the scene of an accident. A minivan must have hopped the curb and taken out a street light. I don't think anyone got hurt (just a bored looking cop, tow truck and no ambulance) but it was a weird thing to encounter. Tomorrow is the last day of Thanksgiving break. If I feel up to it, I'll put in some longer distance.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Knee problems? Don't blame running!

If you think walking is a better way to exercise than running because it's easier on your knees, you would be incorrect. That is according to a Canadian study that tested both the force and frequency of steps for runners and walkers. The New York Times published an article about this study on Wednesday. The conclusion stated, "Measured over a particular distance, 'running and walking are essentially indistinguishable,' in terms of the wear and tear they may inflict on knees."

I know a few people who claim that they used to run, but can't anymore, "because it hurt their knees." I have no doubt that they think that's true. I've always thought that knee problems are predetermined and would surface regardless of any sport that these people practiced. The article also quoted a doctor and kinesiology professor who said, "the study’s results intimate that running potentially could be beneficial against arthritis." I thought so!

Today my wife and I repeated last Friday's Bethpage experience with a 70 minute walk, primarily on the wooded trails. We alternated our walking with a few minutes of running. My wife runs 45 minutes a day on the treadmill, but she has never done a trail run. She loved the the spongy feel of the main trail and I took her on some of the less groomed paths within the interior sections. We walked the last couple of miles on the bike trail. I'm not sure how much ground we covered because I forget to bring my Fitbit.

Tomorrow I may return to Bethpage to run, using the metronome to try to further increase my cadence. It will also be an opportunity to run a few hills as I prepare for the long uphill climb on my upcoming 5K.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Perceived effort high plus "impossible" obstacles

Today's run (street): 4 miles

More ow, than ouch!
I've been fortunate to avoid injuries that prevent my running, but lately I've experienced some painful tweaks in my knee, shin and Achilles tendon. These tweaks are mild and happily intermittent, but they make me wonder what's behind them. I was reading an article on Runblogger (a very nice running site) about Achilles problems and, while I don't think I have "Hagland's structure", I wondered if running in the Hattori's is creating my Achilles issue. I began to think about running in a different shoe.

At the recent Dirty Sock 10K run, Paul mentioned that he trains in heavier cushioned shoes and races in lighter shoes. Right now he's running in Saucony Mirages, a shoe I occasionally use for training and racing. The Mirage is a luxury ride compared to the Hattori's, but it's still low and relatively flat. I decided to dust off my Brooks GTS 10's, a terrific shoe that I'd shelved for running due to their built-up platform.

Chicken soup for the foot
I went out purposely slow on this humid morning and intended to keep it that way. I know that an easy run should follow a hard run and yesterday's speed work was just that. The Brooks felt really good and I cruised along for a couple of miles but picked up the pace after the second mile. By the time I reached 3.25 miles I was feeling a little fatigued. I thought about the idea of running to perceived effort versus a time goal. Over the next quarter mile I perceived plenty of effort as I approached the hilliest part of my route.

When I crested the highest section I took off fast and finished my run breathing hard and sweating heavily. I knew I'd probably pushed too hard and possibly invited further injury. My Achilles felt slightly sore and my right knee felt tender. But overall, I think I'm okay. My perceived effort certainly exceeded my performance metrics, but so what? As long as my injuries got no worse and my training advanced, I feel that I'm going in the right direction.

We're getting close to the end of summer so, today, the Emerging Runner family held our "Impossible Obstacle Course" in the backyard. Due to the effects of hurricane Irene that landed lots of branches and leaves in the pool, we didn't include a swimming portion. The event consisted of activities like soccer ball dribbling, basketball shooting, hockey stick bowling (don't ask), a lacrosse throw and some running.  It was a nice second workout and we all had fun. Best of all, my knee and Achilles felt fine, both during and after.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The thing about the Dirty Sock course...

Link to picture at Bill McBride Photography

Today's workout (elliptical): 28 minutes

I'm thinking of heading to Babylon this weekend to run the trails in Belmont Lake State park. This is the location for the Dirty Sock 10K that's being held next a week from this Sunday. The course itself is straightforward, mostly flat and non-technical, and, unless it's been raining, well groomed. The thing about this race is the weather. On a cool fall morning it's as good as trail running gets: picturesque woods, a beautiful lake and some interesting sections with that cross over brooks or pass by another lake. But the weekend of Dirty Sock can show a different side of this course - the heat and humidity envelope you and the last mile of the race is plenty tough.

The last time I ran this course was in the spring when I closed out my half marathon training. I wore my Kinvaras on the trails and thought all was well but that night I awoke to significant knee pain that followed me for months. I've since gotten past that problem but I'm a little concerned about a recurrence of this problem. In truth, I had probably over trained the week that I did that run and the knee pain was likely a result of running 30% more mileage than normal.

I'm planning to run in the Mirages, a minimal stability shoe, this weekend and for the Dirty Sock race. I've been running almost exclusively with the Hattori's but I seem to adapt well between those shoes and Mirages. This will also be a big weekend for my friends who race. KWL will be competing in the Philadelphia Grand Fondo bike race (108 miles) and FS is due to run a race on Cape Cod. However, she is "day to day" on deciding whether to participate, due to an injury. I hope everything lines up for both of them this weekend (including good weather) and that we all have great experiences.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time for my knee to see the doctor

Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

I'm still paying the price for over-training prior to my half marathon. I obviously aggravated something in my left knee that got worse as a result of the race. Since then I've tried to minimize impact on my knee by keeping my runs below 5 miles. Despite that, my knee continues to feel sore and I'm now experiencing pain in the heel of my left foot.

I iced my knee for about 90 minutes last night and took Aleve before I went to bed. It felt okay when I got up and though I planned to do my usual 2+ mile run this morning, I decided that a no impact workout would be a better choice. I pushed as hard on the elliptical as I would have if I'd ran and in the end I knew I made the right decision. Later today I'm seeing the company doctor (who I understand is also a runner) to get his opinion on whether my injury should be looked at by an orthopedist (please say no!).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A whole different level of gear

Grand Fondo registration
Today's run (street): 4.5 miles

Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the Roseland Ballroom with KWL and another friend so they could pick up their Grand Fondo race bibs and their official Giordana race jerseys. Unlike the race event shirts we runners get, these jerseys are full zip form-fitting tops that probably cost more than the registration fee of a major 10K. Consequently, there were numerous race participants trying their shirts to make sure they fit perfectly. I suspect many of these jerseys will be worn on race day.

Clothes, bikes and gels for sale
Following the number pickup was a visit to the Expo. The scale was small relative to the RXR LI Marathon Expo I attended last week but there was a lot to look at. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between a cycling and a running expo. Like running, cycling has its nutrition, hydration, gear, clothing and shoes. But unlike running, there is a whole other world of amazing technology -- carbon frames that cost $3,000, wheels that seem to weigh less than the spokes of my old Raleigh (and cost 10X as much), and sleek machines that rival the most exotic Italian sports cars in terms of functional design.

Focus bikes, an emerging high end brand
It was great to see all this cool technology yet I felt no emotional desire for the clothes, gear or bikes. I'm planning to get my 15 year old Trek road-ready so I can do some cross training at Bethpage and possibly Stillwell but I have no desire to buy a Specialized Stumpjumper. After all, I can buy 50 pairs of Saucony Kinvaras for the same price.

This morning I went out for my first serious run since Sunday's race. I ran on Wednesday but kept things easy and slow. Today, despite the mild soreness of my knee, I hit the road intending to cover 3-4 miles. I figured that if my knee flared up I'd shut down the run to prevent further injury. I'm pleased to say that I had no issues at all. Hours later my knee still feels good - even better than before I ran. I covered 4.5 miles at a mid-nine minute pace. Though I felt I was running faster than that I was satisfied and glad to be firmly back to running in the 9 minute range.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Protect the knee and then build the base

Half marathon finish
I went out after work with some friends and got home later than I normally do. That cut into my sleep and I decided to rest instead of running this morning. I'm very close to full recovery from my half marathon last weekend but my knee is still a little sore. I compare it to how it felt last Saturday, the day before my race. I didn't feel guilty for skipping a workout today because I feel another day without impact on my knee can only help.

I had hopes of going out this weekend and doing at least one heroically long run to mark my post-half arrival. I'm now thinking about a different approach, where I cap my distance at around four miles on each run. That way I can protect my knee as it recovers and add distance each week until I'm back to 10+ mile base runs.

I had lunch with my friend CMc yesterday and he reinforced the need to do training runs at (or longer) than my targeted race distance. This makes sense since I'd never run 13 miles before Sunday and my performance took a tumble after 11. A steady diet of 10+ mile runs at least once a week will put me in good shape to run another half, should I choose to do so. Even if I stay primarily with 10K's I'll see great benefits from that type of training. I really want to be better prepared for my next race.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting strategic

This is my fourth consecutive day without a run. It's probably the longest I've gone without running since recovering from pneumonia over a year ago. My knee has responded well to the icing and compression and is much improved today. If it wasn't so close to race day I would have tried an easy run this morning. I felt like I needed to do some type of workout when I got up so I did a series of core exercises that included push ups and sit-ups. I'm not sure how much benefit I got from all that but I did work up a sweat.

I'm thinking a lot right now about my strategy for hydration and nutrition during the race. I'll carry electrolyte drink in a hand bottle and also rely on the water stations to supplement my supply. I've used GU Espresso Love and Roctane gels and I like them both. Per discussions with friend FS, I'll plan to take one 30 minutes prior to the start, another at around 4 or 5 miles and the last one at the 10 mile mark. My friend and accomplished marathoner CMc stressed that I should start slow and work up my pace as I go. Sound advice on all counts.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Marginal improvement

I've been holding off on activity since Friday because my knee is still tender and I don't want to do anything to aggravate it further. Yesterday afternoon I'd had enough of sedentary living so I ran through a series of core exercises and added some sit ups and push ups to the mix. I wouldn't call it a hard workout but at least it was something.

I've returned to work and have been wearing a flexible knee brace most of the day. There is still noticeable soreness in my leg and the pain seems to be primarily located just above the medial side of the meniscus. The pain has lessened but I still feel some occasional twinges when I move my leg laterally. I'm becoming more optimistic that I'll have sufficent recovery by the weekend. It is disappointing to have an injury so close to an important race but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The RICE stuff

The good news is that I seem to be doing everything right in terms of treating my knee injury. The bad news is that I seem to actually have an injury. I had hoped the pain was just soreness caused by a couple of longer than average runs this week but I obviously aggravated the tendons around my knee. Most of Friday's run happened on dirt trails and I would have expected that surface to cushion the pounding but the previous day we'd hiked a good distance and the day before that I spent 35 minutes on the elliptical using its highest setting. I'm a little nervous that I won't sufficiently recover for the LI half marathon that takes place one week from today.

I'm resting today and if my knee doesn't feel perfect on Monday I'll rest again tomorrow. If my recovery requires a hiatus from all workouts between now and next Sunday I'm prepared to do that. Besides, at this point I don't think additional short distance running will build any more conditioning. On race week a taper helps maintain fitness and rest is already part of that strategy. I've been practicing RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and I'm definitely noticing some improvement. I'll continue to follow that process and hope for the best.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taper plan & knee pain

Ice me!
I know I've pushed a little harder than normal over the past week, including two 8+ mile training runs, but I was surprised to wake up with a sore knee this morning. I'm not even sure if it's my knee or the muscles surrounding it, but it's clear that after ten days of runs and workouts I need to take a day to recover.

As predicted, the rain is coming down hard this morning. I'm actually happy about that. Nothing to tempt me to step out for a few miles. Rest is both prescribed and necessary. I'm using the Active Wrap cold packs to ice my knee and the areas directly above and below it. I'm not sure whether to run tomorrow (if the weather gets better) or if I should give my legs another day of rest.

I'm being more conservative about this taper than usual. Right now I'm thinking that I'll hold off this weekend and do easy runs on Monday and Wednesday, with a tempo run on Tuesday. I'll then rest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and limit my activities on those days to walking or core work. I'm hoping that additional rest days will pay off. Eight days to go and counting...

Finally, I'm excited that my running buddy Brian will be joining me at the LI Half Marathon. He ran it last year and carried a video camera, documenting what turned out to be a difficult race. I'm thinking he'll have a better time of it this year. I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep up with Brian and another friend, TC, who just ran the Hook Half Marathon in under two hours.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 Running Goals

Here it is, January 17th, and though I've already identified my business goals I still haven't published this year's running goals.  The following items represent my hopes for this year:

1. Run a half marathon
This challenge would have seemed completely out of reach when I restarted running in 2008 but now it feels like a logical and viable step. I don't have a half marathon identified but I'm likely to run the one during the RXR LI Festival of Races because the timing works and it's conveniently located.

2. Score settling
Run my best times ever on the Dirty Sock and Cow Harbor 10K's. Beat my time in the New Hyde Park 8K (44:42 two years in a row!).

3. Running tourism
Run outside of Long Island at least six times. Bonus for competing in a race outside of LI. 

4. Hit those trails
Add Caleb Smith, Sunken Meadow and one more state park to my trail running experience.

5. Performance
Run 1 mile under 7:50/mile or 2 miles under 8:00/mile.


Today's run (street): 5.3 miles

Today is Martin Luther King Day that caps off a very nice long weekend of running. I was again constrained to my neighborhood so I tried to minimize the boredom by changing my route a little. My plan was to run an out-and-back course where I'd go for 25 minutes and then turn around and follow the route back home. Once again I had good energy and was cruising along when I felt a slight pain in my knee at almost the same moment that I was thinking how I never get knee pain. The pain increased and I worried something happened. I was starting to hobble and realized that I was at least two miles from home.

Since I'd done nothing to cause this sudden problem (except to think about knee pain!) I decided that it was likely that it would disappear just as quickly as it came. Every once in while I'll feel a sharp pain in my ankle when I walk and I just work it out with a few steps. This knee pain seemed to be the same sort of thing and after slowing down a little, the pain passed and didn't return.

Once the phantom injury was over I re-focused on my route but had gone a little off my planned course that made the out-and-back distances asymmetrical. I ended up adding some extra loops to ensure I surpassed 5 miles and I ended up with another third of a mile as a bonus. I'm hoping to get a chance to run while I'm traveling this week but my schedule is tight. I did cover almost 15 miles over the long weekend and I like the way I'm running right now. Maybe I'll have a chance to return to the trails next weekend. Hope so.

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