Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Made it through the week...

I was really discontented with my running when I started this week. That bled into my blogging (or lack thereof). It is really frustrating that I have to deal with the ankle two weeks before the 14.2 miler and I am no where near the paces I had hoped.

I pushed myself out the door Monday morning to run at the 1/2 mile track below the gym. After the 3-miler, I felt the familiar euphoria that keeps me lacing up the running shoes morning after morning. I slept in Tuesday morning and still a bit worried about the ankle. I chose a nearby park and enjoyed the scenery. I didn't want to push things so I went just a little over 4 miles. The hills and heat got to me but the run went fairly well. My ankle was still holding up pretty good so I was a little encouraged and decided to push a bit during my Thursday tempo run.

The tempo run included a plan for a mile warm-up and 5 miles at about a 9:15 pace. I was on track the first two miles but actually ran faster the last four. My splits were 9:43 (warm-up), 9:16, 8:57, 9:00, 9:02, and 9:07. I was finally feeling like I was heading in the right direction. Friday's easy run was uneventful and I decided on a 12-mile long run for Saturday morning.

I wanted to run real close to a 10-minute per mile pace and was doing pretty good the first few miles. When I got around 6 miles I could start to feel the tiredness set in and told myself that finishing was more important than pace. But at 8 miles, I was still on track at a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes. I was on track if I could keep up the current pace. That was a big IF!

I finished off my 2nd powergel at about 8.5 miles and threw my wrapper in a garbage can I always use. I decided to use the nearby water fountain for an extra sip of water but was shocked by a splurge of acid reflux went I bent over! I had to stop for a few seconds to catch my breath and take in some water from my camelbak. It surprised me more than anything but I got going rather quickly.

At mile 10 I encountered several large dogs running the streets. I am not exactly scared of dogs but encounters while I am running make me anxious! They were about 50 meters ahead of me and I started walking to see what they were going to do. They went off in the woods, apparently not interested in me, so I started running once again.

The last 2 miles were pretty hard! The sun was beating down and it was getting hot. I had started later than usual because I couldn't one of my podcasts to download into my computer. I was starting to feel the difference! Had I been able to make it through these miles a bit quicker, I may have managed the pace I desired but I couldn't pick it up. I finished at a 10:18 pace. :-(

I will plan a shorter long run of 8 miles this Friday, the last long run before the race. I am going whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River Saturday so I am getting it in earlier in the week. Hopefully, I won't feel too wiped out as a result!

I am only 2 weeks from race day so I have to rethink my original goal time of 2:15 (for 14.2 miles). At this point, 2:25 may be much more realistic. I guess this goes to show you that if you are a beginner like me, you must give your body a rest week in one of these 12 week race plans to give your legs a break. If you don't give your body a rest, it will take a rest anyway one way or another!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


My visit with Dr. Bibighaus went very well. He was a great doctor with a history as a runner and seemed to be the perfect person to go see. He felt around on each of my ankles and had me move them in different directions. He noted that my left ankle has less range of motion than the right and decided to do an x-ray. The x-ray did not show any problems so he said that he believes that the ankle is still weak from the bad ankle sprain I suffered last year. Sprains such as these are hard to get over. He said what I am experiencing now is essentially an overuse injury of a weak ankle.

Dr. Bibighaus prescribed me Celebrex as an anti-inflammatory and drew out a device he told me to make that will help strengthen my ankle. It is basically a piece of plywood 12 inches in diameter with half of a wooden ball attached on the bottom. He said to stand on it and rotate it around so the edge of the plywood touches all the way around and it will gradually strengthen that ankle. I found an illustration of this advice on the internet if you want to check out this link. It is the figure 7 -- the one called the "wobble".

I asked him about Osteo-biflex and he told me it is worth a try. He stated that he takes it himself for arthritis and thinks it makes a difference but there was no solid research that confirms it could help me as a runner. Have any of you out there tried it? It is not cheap so I hesitate to buy some buy someone at work told me it would be really good for all of the miles I am putting in.

Most importantly, he told me I can start back running Monday, as long as I use caution and stop if my ankle hurts. He told me to ice it after each run and said I was "braver than him" when I told him I take ice baths!

So, YEA!!!! It is not anything serious and hopefully I can get back on track Monday with only missing the one week of running. The ankle is a bit sore still but I am hoping the device and this medicine will help it come along. Dr. Bibighaus did say that he would be concerned if my ankle continued to cause me problems. He told me the next step would be physical therapy and, if that didn't help, an MRI to see if I needed surgery to repair the ligament. But I am thinking positive that the steps he gave me are going to take care of it!

I bought an extra water bottle holder for my mountain bike. On the long rides I find I want a little more than water. This way I can have a bottle for water and one for a sports drink. I am going out Sunday afternoon and plan to do a lot of riding on the 9 miles of trails at Elvis Presley Park. It is going to be a cooler weekend! YES!!!

P.S. > I have always gotten Celebrex confused with Viagra for some reason so I was taken aback for a second when he first told me he was going to give me some samples! I imagine I had a look of surprise for that second but thankfully he didn't notice!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Injury Update

The visit to the doctor today was a big ol' waste of time. Someone at work assured me that she was absolutely sure he was in-network for our insurance but when I had filled out all that stupid paperwork -- guess what -- he was out of network. I was not about to pay $200 for a doctor's visit an x-ray so I went back to the office and called around.

Apparently, there are no sports medicine physicians/podiatrists in-network in my area so I started calling around. I talked to a nice lady at a rehabilitation clinic who said she thought an orthopedic doctor would be more appropriate anyway for an ankle injury so I began calling to see when could fit me in.

I now have a 3:30 appointment on Friday with Alexander J. Bibighaus III, MD. Hopefully he is someone knowledgeable about sports-related injuries and hopefully he won’t prescribe too much time off!

I appreciate all of the feedback you gave me from the previous post! I am not suspicious of my shoes, though I can't say I have been thrilled with their support. According to my running log, they currently have 324 miles on them. (Getting close -- but not quite worn out just yet.)

I iced my ankle last night and kept it elevated on the couch. Unfortunately, I am just too busy at work to find time to do the same. I am going to ice it now and take some more Advil. I will try to work out tomorrow with some weights and use the stationary cycle at the gym. If the doctor clears it, I will go mountain-biking Saturday in lieu of my long run.

I am looking forward to the doctor's visit tomorrow because I hope to get this injury behind me. I will update you all as soon as I can!

Oh CRAP !!!!!

For the last ten weeks, the training has been going pretty well. I have steadily increased my mileage without facing any serious injuries and I am right on track for the 14.2 mile race on September 3rd. Or maybe I should say I WAS on track!

I mentioned in an earlier blog about my ankles hurting. That seemed to go away by Tuesday and I went on a 5 mile run yesterday. The run went well and I was feeling pretty good when I blogged a few hours later. But as the day went on, my left ankle began to hurt a little. Not a serious pain, mind you, but it was feeling a little sore and was pervasive throughout the remainder of the day.

Last night as I was talking to my wife in the kitchen, I was getting my running clothes ready and started to wonder about the ankle. I picked up my foot and looked at the area that is sore and right when the foot came up into the light, exclaimed aloud, "Oh CRAP!"

My wife asked, "What's wrong?" I showed her and she could easily see it as well. The area of the inside of my left foot, right below the anklebone, is significantly swollen!!! It almost looks like a mild sprain but without the bruising. It is puffy to the touch and is sore and stiff!

So I'm thinking "CRAPPPPP!". Once again, a few weeks from a race, I get an injury again! But this one seems like one I couldn't even control! You see, I did sprain this ankle early last year pretty badly playing racquetball. I didn't go and see a doctor but had to stay off of it for several weeks and it pretty much started me back at ground zero with my running. I am wondering if I may have reinjured it somehow with the long run on Saturday.

I iced it with a direct ice pack last night for more than 30 minutes and took some ibuprofen. Yet, it is still sore and a bit swollen this morning. I feel I have no choice but to skip my 7 miler this morning and the rest of the week's running is in jeopardy as well. I will probably try to get in to see the local sports medicine doctor and see what he can tell me. Hopefully, I can at least get better before race day. :-(

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mid-week Report

Saturday’s long run didn’t FEEL too hard but the aftereffects were pretty significant! My lower ankles and the bottom-sides of my feet were both pretty sore. I hobbled around Saturday and Sunday with ibuprofen seeming to be the only thing that helped. It did not feel like an injury of any kind, just soreness from all of the pounding my body is not yet used to.

Monday morning brought an improvement but I was a little concerned about running again and injuring myself. I decided to do a little cycling for 20 minutes and lifted weights. I felt a lot better and planned to run on Tuesday morning; however, we had a crisis at work early in the morning and I was unable to run. It was a hard day at the office so I was too zonked to try and run Tuesday evening. I was a little worried I might be losing my zeal for running but I knew I am too addicted to stop.

I ran 5 miles this morning at about an 8:53 pace. It was hot and I had to push myself a little more than I would have liked, but I am still feeling good now that it is a few hours later. I plan to run 7 miles tomorrow at around a 9:15 pace and will complete a real easy 4 miles on Friday. Hopefully, this won’t be too much leading up to the 16-miler on Saturday. It is the last BIG run before the 14.2-mile race in a few weeks so I will be happy to log it in the books! Then the long run mileage starts going down until I reach my 8 mile taper on the 25th. It’s getting closer!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Moving along....

I had a 14.5 mile run this past Saturday morning. I woke up early and was out the door by 6 AM. My main focus was completing the run and staying comfortable enough to finish. I wanted to avoid walking at any point and avoid the feeling that I was about to die!

I ate a powerbar about a 1/2 hour before I started and took two powergels along for the ride. I decided to be more conservative with my water intake because I didn't want to run out again in the last mile and a half, which is the hottest and hardest part of the run.

I didn't worry about pace so much, settling into a comfortable rhythm and zoning into my podcasts. I should mention here that I have three podcasts I listen to during each of my long runs. The first is called the Relevant podcast and is produced by the editors of Relevant magazine. It is essentially a Christian magazine about contemporary culture. It is the best podcast I listen to and get really disappointed when they post it late and
I have to miss it.

I’ve tried but I’m not into any of the running podcasts that are out there. Since I have an interest in getting into triathlons in the future, there are two "Tri" podcasts I always download. One is called Zen and the Art of Triathlons. I am definitely not into Zen Buddhism but, thankfully, the podcast avoids the subject for the most part because and offer the most entertaining information on the sport of triathlons. I enjoy listening in to Brent's rides each week and the different interviews with athletes.

I also really enjoy Stu's podcast on triathlons called Simply Stu. He offered an insider's look at the Tour de France that was particularly enjoyable and has great interviews with top pro athletes. However, I have been having a tough time downloading it recently and missed several of the podcasts. I am not sure what that is all about.

Anyway, the run was pretty uneventful. Yeah, it was hard but really not too bad. Maybe I should have pushed myself a little harder because it was not too tough. That is, not too tough while I was running. My lower ankles KILLED me later that day and most of the day Sunday. I tried icing it a couple of times and took several ibuprofens. I didn’t run today (Monday) to give my legs a little extra break. I plan to add a mile tomorrow and Friday to try and make up for it a little.

Here are my totals for last week:

Total mileage: 33.1 miles

Saturday: Long run – 14.56 miles – 2:32:25 (10:29 pace)

Thursday: 6 mile tempo – 8:45 pace

Tuesday: Mile and ½ mile intervals – 8:12 pace