Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hobbled but not broken: an (unfocused) integrated recovery

This thing in my foot/heel be it plantar fasciitis or a ligament tear is not going away easily. This is the eigth week following the Santa Claus Half Marathon that I've been trying to fend off the foot pain. I'd really like to be running. Now. This week is probably the best it's been but that's because I've only run once in the past ten days. I've tried running every other day, taking three days off, and up to five or six. It can feel good and ready but as soon as I run it sets me back another three to five days. So the smart thing to do might be to just to treat it like a stress fracture and wait it out without running for several weeks.

Meanwhile, I've been keeping up the rehab. I tried icing for a few weeks and that brought tempory relief and seems to up the healing process. But sticking the foot in a bucket gets old and it's cold! I've employed a variety of excercises and stretches, which also alleviate the pain. Used anti-inflammatories as needed, but haven't had the consistency to try the seven to ten day regimen at a higher dose. Taping has also helped, perhaps more than anything. Still, though, I wake up and the foot hurts for about the first five minutes of walking around. And that's going to have to be my que. When it stops hurting in those early steps of the day, maybe then I will be able to return to some light running.

Bummer, I wanted to do some XC racing this fall and with just a couple weeks to go now that's not going to be possible. Fortunately I have a busy schedule with coaching and putting on the little XC races that I'm not missing the racing too much.

Finally, I've been cross training just enough to maintain fitness. About an hour or so a day of cycling alternating with roller skiing. Should be more dedicated to the weights, with ski season coming up--maybe in just a matter of weeks!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Lied: Equinox Review and Other Tales

As of late last week I wasn't planning to be out on the course, but my son and one of  his friends were assigned course direction/traffic duties on Henderson Road and I didn't quite feel comfortable having a couple of 14 year olds out there on their own for a few hours. So I joined them. While, I'm really glad that I didn't do the race this year (no sense in compounding those foot issues), I was also happy to be out on the course for about 3 hours on Saturday morning, cheering people on.

The joke of the morning, however, which came from several runners, was "uhhh which way do we go?" About seven arrows were painted with blaze orange on the road before the turn, there were pie plates with arrows, and three of us with flags. So a bit of overkill. Nevertheless, with traffic coming up one way, weary runners heading the other, it's not a bad idea to have an extra hand to make sure things are going well.


In the past I've listed top masters results and times. Matias Saari bested his own 40+ age group record with a very good--exceptional actually--2:51:28. Saari three times now, Frank Bonzanich's heretofore legendary 2:58:01 in 1984, and Bob Murphy 2:58:30 in 1995 are the only three* masters runners to break 3:00 on the rugged course).

*I incorrectly reported yesterday that David Dyer was a masters (40+) but oops he's got a few years to go.

For the women Melissa Lewis posted a fine 3:26:58, which is a masters top 3 all time for women, and placed second overall.

Congrats to all the runners out there on Saturday. It was a good day for running.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Inner Equinox Nazi: No Equinox for Me!

First, for a little humor we have to pay homage to a Seinfeld classic, the Soup Nazi!

Indeed though, for a number of reasons I'm altogether avoiding the Equinox running extravaganza this year. I've been involved as a runner six times (three marathons and three relays) and it's been good, and the years that I haven't run I've been involved by running an aid station (2005) and road crossing (2010). That's a pretty good streak and in the 9th year, I shall rest, or rake leaves, or do something else. I'll read about it in the paper.

No Equinox for me!

No doubt, the Equinox Is a religion in this community and being that this is the 50th edition, the fervor is particularly high. In a lot of regards, I'm just not a joiner. I'll be back in the relay or perhaps the open someday, just not this year.

I am a little peeved at the schedule change. I set our nascent XC race series way back last October so as not to conflict with the Equinox and to maximize particpation. Then last summer, out of the blue AND decided unilateraly  I hear, they moved the marathon up a week, just three days after the 8K race at UAF. Nothing like getting your toes stepped on by the 0.01%. Thumbs down to that!

Perhaps next year, but I'd really like to take on a flat (or relatively flat) fast marathon course first. That is even if I can bump up training to a repectable level to justify lining up.

Finally, best of luck and best running to everyone out there this weekend!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Redneck Revenge: Adding Insult to Injury

On my post last week I was confident, very much so, that I had rounded the turn with that foot problem and I'd be happily running 40-60 minutes a day by now. But that's not the case. It seems good for a day or two and then I take a step back. I ran some at the Delta XC meet on Saturday, a very easy 3 plus some half mile jaunts from and back to the start-finish and 1-2 mile split sites, and ouch! It bothered me the rest of the day and all day Sunday. So it's cross training and rehab for now, maybe through the week.

Anyway, I was roller skiing on Farmers Loop on Sunday, and actually have enjoyed it more this year with the new Marwes. They have a flex that feels like real skis, the speed is better, and they sit up a little higher off the pavement than my old V2s so I don't fall as much. Well until Sunday.

Years ago I wrote a bit of a diatribe against local rednecks who insist on making a racket while camping:;postID=5057368807733072539
They're still out there and there is no escape if you want to live here.

Likewise, when it comes to well pretty much anything in Alaska, rednecks (stupid bastages that they are) rule the roost. Other than double poling furtively through UAF I pretty much refuse to roller ski on the roads in this town--a stupid redneck would like nothing more than to take out a skier with their pickup (aka "rig")--so I stick to the bike paths. Farmers Loop, although boring, has the best course, from end to end (plus a little) you can do about 18  miles on an out and back from the U's parking to the Steese on the other end of town.

That's all well and good. Relatively safe from stupid rednecks and other bad drivers with miles of rolling asphalt. Maybe a little boring but not bad. But there's a catch. Well thousands of catches really.

Gravel. The bane of the rollerskier.

See, even though the path is made for pedestrians, cyclists (anytime you read the paper and your read an article about cycling the rednecks--well those who can write a half sentence--come out in droves and holler that roads are not made for cyclists (or likely any car that gets more than 20 miles a gallon)).

Don't you know? On the 8th day God made roads for Rednecks and their Rigs!

Motorized vehicles are purportedly not allowed on the bike paths. But the rednecks ignore that and buzz back and forth on the trail and path, kicking up loads of gravel. To its credit the Borough does some path sweeping early in the summer but by September (hunting season) forget about it.

In and of itself, roller skiing is something of an unnatural act. But if you're a skier--or a dinged up runner--you do it to keep fit and to get ready for the specifics of ski training. Staying on your feet is a bit harder on pavement while riding thin little wheels. Add gravel, which becomes lodged in your wheels or, if skating, stops you dead in your tracks; it can be a challenge just to stay on your feet. Granted I do think it's an age-skill thing. The younger skiers react quicker and do not seem to fall as easily. (rule of thumb for 50+ skiers, don't skate within 10 meters of gravel, just double pole through it).

But I fell three times on Sunday. That makes five falls in the past two weeks. I now have matching skinned elbows, sore ribs, a twice bashed left hip, and a shoulder/back that looks like it's been whipped by a redneck snapped cat 'o nine tails.

Not much else to say but get healthy and back running. Watch the gravel. Curse the Damn Rednecks around here!

Wait for snow.