Monday, March 28, 2011

Week in Review: March 21-27 2011

Monday March 21, 2011: Noon: Condensced version of my usual strength routine at the gym + ITB routine and Planks
PM: 4.5miles (40min) Easy shakeout. Not the best run I have had lately. The left knee was a little sore. Probably should have taken the day off given the previous days effort and my still vulnerable ITBS condition.

Tuesday March 22, 2011: Nada. Easy hour walk with Meredith in the evening and a little frisbee at the field. Usual ITB routine and Planks in there as well.

Wednesday March 23, 2011: PM: 8.5miles (1:10). Solid run. Felt better as I went along and managed to tempo (ie. ran by feel) the last 40minutes or so. Saw a few sub 6:30's on the Garmin as I rolled along. Finished up with a couple of hill strides.

Thursday March 24, 2011: AM: Gym: 2.5miles (30min) On the mill at 15% gradient. 1300' vertical. Felt good. Followed this up with full strength routine. Had my legs completely shot and quivering by the end of this one.
PM: 4.5miles (38min). Totally snuck this run in. I was out at UBC for a meet and greet for Law school starting in the fall and had some time before. Pulled over by Pacific Spirit Park, changed on the side of the road- and hit the trails. Quick run but man was it nice. Just one of those days. New trails and beautiful weather.

Friday March 25, 2011: AM: Gym: 2.5miles (30min) Mill at 15% gradient. 1300' vertical. Legs a bit worked. Full strength routine to follow. Pretty bagged by the end. Off to work.

Saturday March 25, 2011: AM: 14.5miles (2:08). Started this run nice and easy, and basically just progressed from there. Probably just over 2000' of vertical and I ended up running the downhills a little more liberal then I have been with my questionable left knee. Not bad overall. Few twitches at the end. I then followed this up with 5.5miles (1:50) hike with Meredith and my parents three dogs. This was really enjoyable as the sun was shining and it actually felt like spring; although my left knee definitely felt a little achy at the end. I should have expected this given the continuous time on the feet/ mileage. Tot 19miles

Sunday March 26, 2011: AM: 9miles (1:21) The positive on this run was that I had great energy and no general soreness from yesterday. However, my left knee was not perfect and I cut the run shorter than I was planning. This was really frustrating because I felt as though I could go all day- but the left knee is still not ready. It took a lot of resolve for me to not push through more than I did. Follwed this up with 3.5miles (1:00) hike with Meredith and the dogs. Weekend obligation. Tot 12.5miles

Mileage: 55miles (10:30) Cross-Training: 2.5 gym sessions along with daily ITB rehab routine and planks. A 14-15hr week of training with all included.

Not much meaninful to say about this week. At this point I just feel like I am biding my time. My body feels ready to go, excluding my left knee of course. It is basically limiting me to a little over 2hr runs at this time. I certainly have a growing sense of frustration with this, as I am trying to prepare for longer races in the coming months. But I am also attempting to be realistic. It was only a couple weeks ago when running for any stretch of time was a chore. However, perhaps I am just selfish, but this fails to fully appease me in many ways.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Monday March 14, 2011: AM: ITB + Plank routine
PM: easy walk (60min)

Tuesday March 15, 2011: AM: 2+miles (30min) On the mill. Started the gradient at 5% and worked it up to 15%. Unfortunately, this is the maximum that the machines at the Y allow (have they never run the trails of the North Shore- we need more than 15% for cross-training). I spent the rest of the time at the gym doing my full strength routine- takes about 60min,
PM: 8.5miles (1:10). A fairly conservative and easy outing on this night. I was feeling pretty good part way through so did 2* 1-mile interval (6:23, 6:22) on the gravel path that surrounds the track over at one of the local high-schools. I much prefer doing repeats around this outer trail versus that actual track for three-fold: 1) its not a track 2) its not pavement 3) it has elevation gain and some winding turns. All of these factors make it much more appealing to me.

Wednesday March 16, 2011: AM: ITB + Plank routine.
Noon: 20* one-legged squat, one-legged sitting-to-standing, lunge-matrix
PM: 7miles (60min). Easy run, left leg felt good once again.

Thursday March 17, 2011: AM: 2+miles (30min). Same as on Tuesday morning, start the grade at 5% and work it up to 15%. Mostly powerhiking with avg pace at around 14-16min/miles. Just an attempt to keep my climbing legs strong.
PM: 2miles (18min) Easy trot to shake out the legs.

Friday March 18, 2011: AM: 12miles (1:49)- avg pace 8:43. My longest run in over two-months with no pain the entire time. Kept the pace slow and conservative and by the end barely felt like I had even gone on a run. 2000feet of vertical over the effort.
PM: Hot-Yoga (1:30)

Saturday: 6miles + (2:00). Hiked the Chuckanut 50km course with Meredith and took a bunch of photos as we caught the leaders at about the mile 26point. Great times hanging out and chatting with a bunch of other runners.

Sunday: 14miles (2:04). Another encouraging run. Kept the pace steady but never like I was working. 1,900 feet of vertical- over a nice little loop from my house- to Bridgeman Park- to base of Riverside drive- up to the Baden Powell Junction- Gazebo- Suspension Bridge- roads home. Thought I may have felt a slight twitch in the left knee near the end but nothing more. Can’t complain. Glad that I packed an emergency gel in my back pocket as I needed it about 1:45 into the effort. Also was glad the fountain at Gazebo was on because I did not take any water.

Mileage: 54.5miles (9:30hours)
Cross-Training: Two gym sessions and a Yoga class plus daily ITB rehab and Plank routine.

It has been a long time but I am finally running pain-free. Looking back at my log, I basically have not had a comfortable run since mid-December. But it has finally happened and really only over the past 11-days. But since this point I have been able to make fairly significant progress. From barely being able to run for 30minutes without that familiar ache materializing in my left knee, to today running for just over two hours with some decent vertical and with no pain, I am more then content with the progression.

I have to remain conservative and smart over the next couple of weeks; I am far from completely done with this injury. But in saying that, the countless hours I have spent strength-training in the gym and correcting my muscle imbalances is paying dividends. I will look to keep the mileage modest but steady in its build. At this point, I am just relishing the fact I am once again doing what I love so much, being outside in nature running. With this sentiment, I am reminded of these words by the now deceased Edward Abbey from his book Desert Solitaire,

“God? Nothing moves but the heat waves, rising from the naked rock. It is somehow comforting to see, nearby, the yuccas growing from the sand and from the joints in the stone. They are in full bloom today, clusters of waxy, creamy flowers on tall stalks, supported and nourished by the rosettes of daggerlike leaves that form the base of the plant. God? I think, quibbling with Balzac; in Newcomb’s terms, who the hell is HE? There is nothing here, at the moment, but me and the desert. And that’s the truth. Why confuse the issue by draggin in a superfluous entitiy? Occam’s razor, Beyond Atheism, nontheism. I am not an atheist but an eathiest. Be true to the earth”- Desert Solitair, 1968, Edward Abbey.

A few photos I took from Saturday's race: