Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby steps

It's been almost a month since my last post. I would have been writing about my running if I'd been doing much of it. Since 10/31 I've run six times totaling 18.5 miles. I started by taking a week off between runs and only running 2 - 2.5 miles at a ~9:00/mi pace. I've been increasing the distance and frequency of the runs in a lazy progression that has me up to 4.5 miles pain free as of last night's One Store Loop. I'm still keeping the pace really easy and trying to stay light on my forefoot. I've been leaving the Garmin at home too. I love having the numbers and analyzing my pace / splits but I've gotten out of the habit of just running and enjoying my time and surroundings without looking at some gadget on my wrist every few minutes. I'd like to get some kind of device with no screen that I could just put in my pocket that would record the run so I wouldn't be tempted to look at it but could still comb over the data afterward.

I'm not going to make my 1500 mile goal for the year (sitting at 1333.7 currently) but I should be able to hit 1400 assuming that my knee continues to improve.

I'm still working out at lunch every day and instead of running I've gotten back into swimming. I started out doing 1000 yds at lunch and then began working on my form, trying to learn how to glide through the water. I'm up to swimming a mile per session now and I've shaved a few seconds off of my 100yd average time. I feel like I'm noticeably smoother in the water but still have a ways to go. I'm really inspired to work on my technique when I see videos like this one (the underwater shots are very impressive. The instructor looks like he's barely trying). As I slowly improve at swimming it gets me thinking about doing a Triathlon some day. I think I'd be fine at all three of the sports given my running and cycling background but I would need much more time to train. I'd also have to give up swimming in my board shorts and move to a Speedo or those long spandex shorts type suits. I'm sure the board shorts are slowing me down plenty but maybe I can call that a training tool. I'd love it if my first Triathlon was an Ironman, but I just don't see where I'd find the time to train for it.

In any case, to wrap up: running is improving and I'm trying to get the joy of running back, knee pain is calming down and I'm doing much more swimming and weight lifting.

I've also just started reading Time Ferris' book "The 4-Hour Body" which presents some very interesting experiments to try in the realm of exercise and diet. I might give one or two of them a shot and see what happens.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ouch, that hurts!

Since completing the Pt Defiance 50K I've run three times. My cold came back the week after the race and my legs were sore so I took a few days off and cross trained. Later that week I tried an easy run out to the Bridle Trails. The first two miles felt okay but my left knee started to hurt the further I ran. I had to stop and walk some of the non-flat sections of the trails because the knee pain got so bad. I couldn't figure out if it was just my legs being sore from the race and affecting my form and the way that my knee was tracking or if I had injured my knee.

The pain was on both sides of my knee for the first run. My knee hurt enough the rest of the day that I didn't run again the rest of the week, going swimming at lunch instead. I enjoy the swimming but I'm a slow swimmer. It takes me a little over 20 min to swim 1000 yds. Given my personality, I am of course looking at technique articles and videos online to learn about swimming form and trying to improve my efficiency in the water. Technique eludes me thus far and progress is slow.

I tried running again yesterday (10/31) and had 1.5 miles of pain free running followed by 2.5 miles of knee pain and walking breaks. The knee pain was limited to the outside of my knee this time. Now the process of diagnosing and reading about knee injuries begins. In an odd coincidence, my sister is experiencing knee pain in almost the same spot on her left knee. Hopefully between the two of us we can figure out what's wrong with our knees and get back on our feet.