I have been suffering from an injury of late that is threatening to derail any short term race plans I have. The injury is hard to pinpoint but is loosely in the gluts/ piriformis/ ilio-psoas areas. See GetBodySmart for a great site the shows anatomy and physiology in a way that you can clearly see what each muscle does and where it attaches.
It’s not clear exactly what the problem is, or why it showed up suddenly. I can’t tell if the problem is from a change in training to more street/track/tempo running (less steep hills, more consistent running) or the difficult trails we did two weeks ago. It would be ridiculous to be out of shape for trail running because of doing predominantly street running for a few weeks, but that is the possible root of the problem. David of course is immune from injury—at least it seems so most of the time. I blame it on the testosterone (keeps his muscles strong even when he doesn’t exercise! Men have it sooo easy!)
After recurrences of pain in the last couple weeks, mostly on the downhills when I would attempt to stretch out my stride and enjoy the ride, I decided I needed to nip this in the bud and not wait another few weeks to see if it would get better on its own like I did last summer. I went to see a physical therapist last Thursday, who gave me a whole bunch of exercises to do (toe and heel walking and core strengthening exercises).
Of course I hadn’t had much time to do the exercises or change anything by the run on Saturday, so it was with some concern that we showed up for the run on Saturday AM. I wasn’t sure I’d get all that far before having to call it quits. I was well anesthetized with Aleve, but was forced to further supplement with ibuprofen eventually in order to finish. Not so good really.
As for the run, I took it very easy and ran much of the first half with Mountain Man Steve who is successfully recovering from a calf injury and preparing for Coyote Two Moons, and Jim Winne who was deliberately keeping his heart rate down to accommodate his heart problems. As expected, after about 5 miles, the pain began, despite keeping the pace down. The course was quite easy, with clear dirt or paved trails, 90% flat or very gradual hills, perfect weather. Every time I tried to get the pace up though, I had to back off or was forced to walk. Ten minute miles (preferably 10:30 to 11) were about as fast as I could go without more serious warnings, and pushing it into 9:30 pace did some damage. Average heart rate for the run was only 137! That’s pretty slow and easy.
The weather was cooperative (cool and overcast with only a little drizzle). There was even an aid station! I met more great runners: the famous ultrarunners Chihping Fu
(thanks for the aid station!), Barbara Elia and Linda McFadden. There were lots of other great folks out there but I couldn’t spend much time talking with everyone due to pace differences and didn’t get everyone’s names. (Apologies to those I am neglecting to mention!) It was also nice to talk with the faster folks at the finish (Mike Palmer and Catra , the co-RDs, thanks for the pizza and beer, Ron!). Catra was recovering nicely from her IT band problems from HURT and seemed ready for more! Everyone was having fun and taking it easy, just a fun run on a Saturday (see participants and finishing times)!
I stayed reasonably well fueled I think despite skimping on breakfast (coffee and a Trio bar), and ate half a turkey sandwich, a Mountain Dew, and a whey protein energy bar. That’s not a lot of food, but I ate every time I felt I needed to. David again did the distance on near-zero carbs: coconut milk and whey protein (and not that much of either) as his major calorie sources.
Since I was forced to keep to a very slow pace by the pain in my butt and thigh, it was an interesting test of purely aerobic exercise vs. my usual sort of 50K race performance (as much lactic acid as I can stand). The funny thing is that on the day after this easy run, I saw the usual 2 lb weight gain again. I thought that maybe the post-race weight gain was due to the stress of hard running and wouldn’t happen after an easy run. Now I’m wondering if it’s just due to overindulging afterwards in carbs (new glycogen stores add water weight) from the post-run and dinner refueling: pizza, beer, sushi, sweet potato, cherries and bread. That’s a lot more carbs than I usually eat in a day, so maybe I carb-loaded after the run (now that’s just silly).
The aftermath of the 50K wasn’t too bad in terms of muscle pain and stiffness on Sunday. I felt a lot worse after going to the track last night and trying to get the pace up again for a short tempo run. Something’s definitely not right, and I will probably have to back off from anything faster for a while (including races) and concentrate on core exercises and going slow, if at all. So frustrating!
Pine to Palm 100 - View at the top of the first climb shot by Masha. Well she did it! A big sigh of relief in our tiny household and we've been riding the post race high the ...
1 year ago