Saturday, August 30, 2014

Superior 50 closure

I am 7 days out from Moose Mountain marathon and I am still hoping to run the race even though I am still nursing an injury and my training is mostly non existent over the last 5 weeks. My last long run was at the end of July and it was 16 miles on roads. My average weekly manage since then is a little under 3 miles/week, yes that is it.

I really want to do this event, as it would complete the circle and bring closure to the Superior 50 that I failed to finish in 2010 when I missed the cutoff at the Cramer Road aid station (Moose Mountain starting line). In that race I had intended to continue despite an injury but the cutoff intervened. I am thinking it is poetic, to start Moose in pain and then to finish it off just seems right, it will be a long day but I should have time to do it.

I could use a little closure as I feel I have been pretty much a running failure since that day. Although I was struggling a little in 2010 with some minor issues, the Superior 50 was the true start of some more legitimate injuries (meaning not training related) and me not taking the time to recover properly which basically means compensation injuries. My injury was a weird one but it was legit and if there is one thing I have proven over the last 4 years is that trying to run long distance events injured is not a good plan. I know that I haven't been smart about allowing for recovery time and have been too driven to finish what I have signed up for. This whole year appears to be a reminder of my last four years of running while injured. The one consolation this year is my injuries were not caused by running and I am learning to not just push through them but obviously based on the fact that I still intend to run Moose I may need some additional lessons.

One thing that could keep me from doing this race is that I had a MRI yesterday to determine/confirm the foot injury and expect to hear from my Dr next week as to what it means. It is possible he will tell me that I shouldn't run and if he does I will probably listen. He had advised me to not run last weekend at the Urban Trail and I listened to him. Of course, I did regret not running even though I couldn't walk or run without pain.

So hopefully a week from today, it begins, my quest to close a loop I have left open for 4 years and it becomes my catalyst to finishing up the year with a few pain free races. I do know that I intend to enjoy every step of Moose and hopefully by next Saturday I will be pain free and just worrying about how do I run a marathon on 3 miles a week training :-).

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A step forward

Earlier this week, with the Urban trail a few days in front of me, I did what I have done before, head to the Doctor to get my issue diagnosed so I can get an all clear to run. The diagnosis is a bone bruise on the side of my foot (basically at the ankle), probable recover time of 4 to 6 weeks. He recommended I not run today.

I of course had other plans. On Tuesday I emailed the Urban Trail folks and asked if I could move down to the 1/2. They instantly accommodated me (thank you) so I then started to convince myself that a half was doable and wouldn't cause damage. So on Thursday I attempted a run in Lebanon, kept it to 3 miles and it went ok. I had some pain but it was better than the run I had done the weekend before so maybe the 1/2 was indeed doable. On Friday, the foot hurt more than I thought it had on Thursday. I told my wife that I was running on Friday and that was my plan.

When I got up this morning, I of course had trouble walking as has been the case since I injured the foot, the pain is similar to plantar fascia pain as it radiates in the heel when I walk but seems a little more intense than my previous bouts with plantar and taping does not work. Unlike plantar, it doesn't loosen up, instead I get my rhythm of walking on my forefoot going and it is manageable.

So why is this a step forward? Easy, I chose to not run my race today but instead will bike with the hope that I heal enough to enjoy Moose Mountain.

Next year I plan to run the Urban as I really like their course layout. Give this race a try next year, low key and it explores an interesting area of St. Paul.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And so it goes, once again

Well, here I go again. I have the St. Paul Urban Trail Marathon in 10 days and I haven't run but once in the last 12 days as my foot is preventing me from running and hurting quite a bit while I walk. I did read that I could run with my probable injury (a bruised heel, fat pad contusion, whatever...........) as if it hurts when walking then running will do no more harm. I just have wimped out and I am not motivated enough to run through the pain.

Back to the Urban Trail, my money is paid, what do I have to lose Wow this seems familiar, and training for a marathon is overrated, right?

I am hoping that in a couple of days the foot will not hurt and I can run, if not then I will need to ponder things for a few more days. After the Urban Trail marathon I will have 2 weeks to train for Moose Mountain. The nice thing about Moose Mountain is that it has a 14 hr time limit and I would need to maintain about a 30 min/mile pace to make the cutoffs. If my foot gets healed and I can run some then even on that trail, I think I can do it.

So I will need to make the no go call over the weekend. The question is do I run it or not???????

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Running drama continues

What a year it has been, back last Christmas I decided to run all of the marathons of Mnnesota and it seemed like a really good and doable plan to get my running back on track. Well, I got off track before the first one with the meniscus tear and have proceeded into all the marathons thus far in pain. I have added an additional goal to be pain free for all of the remaining ones at least at the start line :-). Here is my summary on the first 6 of 12:
  1. Run for the Lakes - Meniscus tear 6 weeks ahead of it, had cortisone shot a few days ahead of it and used the Galloway method which got me to the finish
  2. Lake Wobegon - Tried the same process but had too much pain and was afraid of doing more damage so I dropped at 18 miles
  3. Med City - Dropped down to the 1/2 and hobbled through it with the hope that if it went well then proceed to Minneapolis
  4. Minneapolis - Had knee surgery 2 days ahead of it so my plan was a DNS, then they canceled the race for thunderstorms.
  5. Grandmas - Decided to try it with 2 short runs behind me, ended up making it but there was a bit more to the story no known damage done.
  6. Eugene Curnow - Chose to not start to give the knee some recovery as I was having too much pain running trails.
Which brings us to my next marathon the St. Paul Urban Trail which is now just 2 weeks away. My plan was to start this one without pain and enough training to make it enjoyable.
All was going ok (although not great) as I worked my mileage up. During this training, I have come to realize that my knee pain is gone but occasionally I step funny and it feels like it wobbles which causes some intense pain. I am pretty sure this is by product of not having any functional medial meniscus left. I have been working to strengthen the muscles around it but it's still a bit of a learning process. Trail running is the toughest so Moose Mountain might take a little longer than I would like.

Well like I said all was going well until last Thursday I ran in Lebanon and then played softball. The run in LH tweaked the knee and then at softball as I was rounding third I landed on my left foot and had immediate pain in my heal. I hobbled on and finished the games but between the knee wobble and the heel pain, it wasn't much fun. Unfortunately the next day I couldn't bear any weight on that leg at all. I debated going to get it looked at but figured it would just waste my time. I was able to walk kind of by putting on a shoe. Without the shoe, no way.

Today was my first attempt at a run and it worked sort of, I am still not pain free by any stretch but I was able to run in LH using a run-walk method. I did have a few wobbles so that still needs some work and I tried to not let the heel hit the ground which may be a problem on longer runs.

So tomorrow I will try to run longer (somewhere between 12 and 20 miles) (amended on 8/10, wasn't able to run, biked 20 miles instead) and then continue to get into a daily running habit over the next week and then hopefully I will be able to do the marathon. Ideally I will be pain free by then and have just enough training to finish under their 6 hour cut-off.

One other thing, since Minneapolis got canceled which means I couldn't complete my goal of running all of the Minnesota outdoor marathons, I have decided to not run Bemidji and instead will plan to do the 50k at Surf the Murph.

That way I can start feeling like an ultra runner again. Of course I will need to finish it to get that feeling which means I have to get over these injuries and not have any more. That sounds so simple but for me has been so hard.


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