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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On Course

It s Wednesday. No running since Saturday. I can walk up and down stairs with absolutely no pain my my calf or knee. Whatever is going on it comes on very quickly once I begin running but goes away if I stop. I am not going to chance running for a long time. 6-8 weeks as I said earlier. I feel like I am on course but have stopped all stretching because after I do it the pain returns rather suddenly. Guess my body is trying to tell me something.

I don't miss running but I have also had to cut back on calories so I am hungry all the time. 3 small meals today. All out of the house. I will need to be careful not to pig out. Banana and oatmeal this morning, rice and chicken this afternoon and a salad this evening.

I did go over to Forbes Mill and walked for 30 minutes. No ill effects. Had breakfast with Jake afterwards.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This Time I Really Mean It !

I drive over to West Valley College to run an easy 25-30 minutes and test my knee. I wore the strap and had no problems from start to end of the run. However my lower calf acted up again reminding me that it is not healed. Because I keep coming back and testing it, it keeps coming back as an injury so I have decided to just give it a total rest. I talked about taking 6-8 weeks off several weeks ago and this time I mean it. There is no other way out. I will try walking once the calf is no longer sore. My goal is to not know that it is there. No pain, no tightness. Plus I might get that two month off boost that I have spoken about in the past.

In the meantime I will write about other stuff and try not running again until mid April at the very earliest. It may be overkill on rest but it's the only possible way out for me now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

20 Minutes!

SVW (Silicon Valley Warrior) ran an easy 20 minutes today over at Forbes Mill. My knee was bothering me for the past several days just walking around so I wore the Protech strap which seemed to immediately relieve the problem.

I ran part of the way with Jake but cut back to the parking lot as soon as we hit "the hill" about 8 minutes out. My calf didn't bother me but I plan to stay flat as possible until I feel that I can chance it.

Jake and I had a rousing conversation about a study done on runners who did miles but kept their efforts at about 60 percent of max verus those who did intervals. The former group improved markedly over the speed trained group. It's Joe's Long Slow Distance all over again. Since I ran my best times running this way, I tend to be prejudiced. Intervals are a good test to see what shape you are in, not the path to getting faster. Of course I am in the minority on this whole issue.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

10 Minutes

Amber, our 12 year old golden, woke me up early. She wanted out. I staggered back to bed and drifted off for another 20-25 minutes before the alarm finally shook me awake. Amber was on her pillow so I must have let her back in before I sacked out again but I had no memory of it.

After a giant mug of coffee and a banana I went finally decided to go run. I put on my classic Supernova's and jogged for 10 minutes in the slate gray of the morning. No HRM. Just a hand held stopwatch. The goal was just to see if I could run 10 minutes with no discomfort. I ran around the neighborhood which has some slight rises but is mostly flat.

So was it there? Except for several steps towards the end of the run around 9 minutes, I could feel absolutely nothing.

I took my father's old billy club from his army days and ran it over the calf 20 times afterwards.

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Balance 320's

I went up to Jack Leydig's house in San Mateo and bought the last pair of New Balance 320's in existence. Well, perhaps NOT the last pair but the last pair in my existence. This is the shoe that I trained in back in the late 1970's. The joke was simple. If New Balance called them 320's then just move the decimal pint to the left and you roughly had the price. $32.00 dollars. Later on (much later on) the NB 100's cost over one hundred dollars.

As I held the shoes in my hand Jack pointed out that the foam in the tongue of each shoe had turned to little more than dust. He was being fair and offered them to me for nothing but I gave him his original price which was ten dollars. It cost me more in gasoline to make the drive but it was worth it. A small connection back to the days when I was at my fastest.

I tried them on when I got home. 8 E's which is about my street shoe size these days but well below the sizing of my current running shoe's. Still they fit even though they are a bit snug in the toe box. They will give with wearing. I won't run in them. The support, which was excellent for 1975, is not enough for my 62 year old foot.

I haven't begun to run again. It's out there and it might only a matter of going. I just haven't taken the frst step.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Go or No Go

Well, except for a handful of secret one minute "test" jogs I have not run since a week ago Friday. The calf feel OK. No pain or tightness. The question is whether it is GO or NO GO next week. I really don't miss running but I miss the sense of weight control it gives to me.

Once again, my decision to begin running aqgain is day to day or if as I originally planned, it might be 6-8 weeks of no running. That option seems to be receding in the blurred distance as the injury repairs itself. With no race goals though, there is really is no hurry.

Stay tuned.

Mike Fenner died last week I believe. Good guy and a decent runner (2:43 marathoner). We used to train together on Thursday nights at Los Gatos with Doran, Sanfilipo, Wurm, Norm, Walt and that gang. I don't know the details. He was fighting cancer some years back but had overcome it. Maybe it came back.

Friday, February 15, 2008

4 Minutes!

I jogged around my miniscule backyard for two minutes and then went out front and ran another 2 minutes.

No calf pain.

Maybe I shouldn't be doing this. I mean it was going to be 6-8 weeks. I think it is my inbred desire to test. What harm can 4 minutes do? Much if it delays my recovery but then the world is not waiting, with its breath held, for another OTH* 60 year old runner.

*OTH Over The Hill

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2 minutes

Of course I am NOT really running but I still went over to Forbes to join Jake for breakfast. He was still out on the trail bashing the hell out of himself so I did a mini-job of two minutes around the parking lot.

No pain. No tightness but then it was only two tiny minutes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

6-8 Weeks!

I have been burned out and dinged up since the fall. Several times I actually thought about taking 6-8 weeks off with no running at all. The two times I was forced to do this in the past because of non running related injuries, I came back stronger than ever.

Now this opportunity has been laid at my feet because of the calf strain, my first serious running related injury since 1985 when I pulled my Achilles tendon.

It takes time to come back. Take 6-8 weeks off and it takes 12-16 weeks to come back and see the effects. It ain't pretty at first but once things kick in, it is beautiful.
The key will be to hold my weight in check and to thoroughly rest my legs. As of now I am a non runner.

Thoughts will creep in after several weeks to go walk-jog a bit but I will have to simply let them go and consider that not running is training. It is laying the base for the rest of 2008.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I went out in the late morning to run and had to quit after 37 minutes. I was literally hobbling. The low calf or high achilles strain was getting worse as I ran so I headed back home.

I have simply decided to take 4-8 weeks off. Maybe more if that is what it takes.
My comeback will be slow at first. If I can walk in the meantime, I will but it has to be without any discomfort.

The injury was chasing me around reminding of its existance but I seemed to be able to get away with running on flat surfaces with almost no discomfort. My big mistake???

I mildly stretched the damn thing! Why did I do that? Stretch a frayed rope and it will fray further and, in time, unravel. I ignored my own advice. I forgot to watch was happening. I wasn't in the moment. I was drifting off and not paying attention to what works for me.

The road to wellness starts today. I am fine with it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Damn Thing Is Still There

I went over to Old Forbes Mill and ran 70 minutes partially with Jake and partially alone. I went up and back with Jake and had no problems with my left calf. We stopped at the end of the loop and then I set out to run up again but immediately my calf tightened up so I turned around and headed over to the track and ran that and the baseball field with little or no apparent discomfort. But make no mistake; the damn thing is still there haunting me. As on Monday, I found that the flatter the surface the better the run. Of course slower is better too. It is what it is.

Breakfast was the usual blueberry panckaes and coffee. Just great.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Calf Muscles and other things

I waited until late morning to go out for my run. It was sunny but cold and windy too with the gusts blowing leaves and branches down the streets. I did a loop around the neighborhood. My lower calf was tight but not painful. I decided to do another loop and my legs felt good enough for me to try the college track. It was strange. The moment I hit the track, that ultimate running surface, both forgiving and flat, all tightness went away. I kept doing loops on the outside lane. The calf muscle held and finally I did a loop through the college and headed back home. 62 minutes in all! The moment I got in the house, I took 3 Advil, put ice on the injury and fired up some oatmeal in the microwave.

The key seems to be staying low, slow and flat. Not the right time to fly high (do the hills).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Ice-Man Cometh

I went over to the club workout with the goal of just running some lactate effort stuff. I am so unmotivated that I figured I could use some company.

I jogged around 17-18 minutes and then joined the club workout which was in progress. They were doing .66 miles around the tennis courts. I figured that I would follow Tim and just keep it easy but halfway through the first loop my upper achilles (or lower calf) started to hurt and while I finished the workout I also knew that I was finished too. I did slow jog another 15 minutes for a total of about 40 minutes but I finally realized that I had to take this whole injury thing more seriously.

When I got home I iced for 20 minutes and will do that twice a day until the injury gets much better. I will try to run Monday and see if I can run through it. I am going to stay on the flats. If not then it's two weeks and a cloud of dust before I got out again.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Easy 60 minutes

I had a meeting with a client canceled this morning so I hung out and ran around 11 AM. I did an easy 60 minutes with the HRM basically hanging out in the 130's. My left achilles felt good as did my knee which seems to be on the mend (for now). I had planned to ice and advil when I got back home but the achilles didn't bother me at all so I decided to just move on. The extra heel lifts and taping the left foot really seemed to help. I also did my pigeon toe gait whenever I headed up any sort of rise. It's an old George Sheehan trick. It keeps tension off the tendon.

Tension off the tendon

Tension off the tendon

Skip to the lou my darlin'

There was a dark haired woman running on the track who was wearing a black running outfit. Knee length tights and dark top. I have seen her before. She kept looking my way. Either I was the alpha male on the track (right) or she just was warning me off. Probably the latter. Luckily I am not a stalker or a dirty old man so she was safe.

I ducked any shower activity. It was breezy but the sun was out and the temps in the high 40's. It really wasn't too bad.