Friday, September 28, 2007

7 days, 26.4 miles

Ran just over 5 today, making the weekly total 26.4 - just over a full marathon.

Total time was 3:51 which is much better than the last marathon I ran in Hawaii back in December. I think that spreading it out over 7 days makes it a little easier.

Day off tomorrow as we are flying back home. Then I'll see if I can keep up the "run slow every day" trend

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Six, and counting

3 this morning. A little earlier and a little faster. Felt good. Followed by about 45 minutes of stretching/calf exercises and then icing. It's very easy to do all that stuff when you have the whole day to sit by the pool. One more run here tomorrow and then it's back to reality on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


another 4 miler today, followed by a 2 mile walk. once again, very slow (8:50) and mostly on the golf course. things are feeling good - the exercises, stretching and easy miles seem to be working. fingers crosses!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And that makes four

As long as you are OK with the heat, this is a great place to run. Did an easy 3 miles along the coast path this morning. That's 4 in a row, and nothing seems to be broken. I think keeping to low, slow mileage is going to be OK.

It was busy out there! Seems like everyone was out for a run today. Vacation runners are funny, there are a lot of couple runners. The cute skinny runner girl bouncing along and her bulked up basketball playing husband/boyfriend lumbering along 2 steps behind. The trail is 1.5 miles linking a number of nice hotels/condos. So you often pass the same people twice. First time you pass the running couple they are all smiles, like something out of a lifestyle magazine. The next time, after a couple miles at too fast a pace, in 90 degree heat/humidity the girl is still all smiles but the big guy is looking like he's gonna throw up. Makes me glad I don't have to deal with the problem of having all those muscles.

Off to the beach now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another 3 day streak

Another easy 4 miles today. Easy 8:30ish pace, all on the grass by the golf course. Shooting for 4 in a row tomorrow!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Much Better

Ran a little earlier today, at 10am (after the watching the niners stink it up in Pittsburgh). Still pretty hot but not like yesterday. Found a good route this morning, all on short grass along the side of the road by the golf course. Views not quite as nice but still awesome. Ran past some amazing beachfront homes - I know what I am doing the next time I have a spare $10,000,000.

3 miles very easy at an average of 9:02. Some gentle rolling hills and I slowed way down on the ups (9:45 pace) to avoid straining things too much. Kept the heart rate down, averaging 146.

Kids are in keiki club tomorrow 9-12, so I will run a little earlier. I'll probably run the same route as today but go a little farther.

Now I'm off to the pool to rehydrate!

Hot Hot Hot

4.5 miles yesterday in the Maui midday sun. 90 degrees, very humid, no shade. Not so smart.

Did 1 mile at about 8:00 pace along a path that skirts the cliffs, and then slowed it down as the trail ended and I had to go 3/4 mile on the beach. Found a line of hard sand and it was OK but probably didn't do my achilles any real good. Cut back through some condos and then ran back down the road.

Way too hot to run at noon, I had to soak in the pool for 20 minutes just to get my body temperature back to normal, and it took me at least 4 beers to rehydrate properly.

After stretching and icing the legs were fine and this morning all is good! Although I think today's run will not be at noon and won't be on the sand.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Aloha. no running yesterday but did walk around on the beach with no shoes. That is certainly an achilles strainer! I am going to need to be careful this week. Will be trying a 20-30 minute run sometime today.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

3 day streak

A 3.86 miler today, at just over 8 minute pace. My first 3 days in a row since May. And I even did all my stretching before and afterwards. It's a day off tomorrow (flying to Hawaii).

Physio Update

First physio visit yesterday....

good physio (I think), has me on a rehab plan that is essentially what I have been doing but with a little more structure and some additional muscle strengthening exercises for my weak chicken legs.

Lots of stretching (especially before/after every run/workout)
Eccentric calf exercises: 3 sets of 15, twice a day, for right and left. I've been doing these most days, but only once. He also wants me to do them half with straight leg and half with bent knee (for the soleus muscle that's at the bottom of the calf. this will go to 3 times day soon, then we add some weights.
Thigh strengthening exercises since they are so weak (apparently this is a side effect of sitting on your ass for 20 years). I need to do them every day too.
Plenty of icing after exercises and running.

Good news is that it's all easy stuff that I can do at home in front of the TV so there is a chance that I will actually do them. If it meant going to the gym it would be a different story.

He thinks that we aren't too far gone in terms of the injury and says I should be fine running 2-3 miles/day and then slowly adding miles (but not speed or hills) as things get stronger. His guestimate was 3 months until I was back to "normal".

So that gives me a solid plan until the end of October.
- do the physio at home every day
- visit the physio office 2x week
- build up to running every day by mid october
.....should be 4-5 this week, 5 next, then 6 then 7
- build my "long run" up to 5-6 miles by end of october

I go back to see Dr. Runner on October 28th to see what he has to say about all this.

Then I will either book up for London or cancel.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quick Update

Very easy 3 1/2 miles this morning. 8-8:30 pace. Easy 2 miles Sunday, same sort of pace. 2 miles "running" as soccer referee on Saturday.

Physio starts tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another Medical Opinion, Another Plan

Went to see the new doctor this week. Unlike previous medical advisors, this guy, Dr. Amol Saxena, is a distance runner (2:40 marathon), and has been the doctor for the US Olypmic team, so I was hoping for some realistic advice on getting through this.

He definitely seemed to know what he was talking about - achilles paratendinosis was the diagnosis. He prescribed physiotherapy (twice a week for a month) and then a review with him.

He recommended to continue what I had been doing: stretching, eccentric calf exercises, icing (although standing in an ice bucket and stretching at the same time is a better way to do this). Running is OK, but not past the point of feeling any discomfort, and nothing fast. soft surfaces will help.

Usually this takes 6-12 months to get over completely. If things are still as bad after 6 months (November) he'll do an MRI and see if something else if wrong in there.

So where does that leave me? Basically, I'm screwed. Any plans of building up the mileage and racing before December are completely gone. The plan now is to try to build up to be able to run completely pain free every day. That means only running 20-30 minutes at an easy pace. I'll start that this week, running every other day. Then I'll add one day/week until I am running 3 miles, every day. After that I'll gradually add in some miles until I can do 5 miles (40 minutes) every day. Then I'll start extending the long run on Sunday. When I am stable at 40 miles/week I'll start gradually introducing some speed.

Assuming physio helps (likely), and I can keep my enthusiasm to run too far/too fast/too soon in check (questionable), I'm hopeful that it'll get better. I'll probably be able to build up to running the Cal International Marathon relay in early December (although nowhere near the 1:30 time that I hoped for). London in April is still up in the air at this point. I will see how the next month goes and make a decision mid October. I expect I can get well enough to run it, but not necessarily well enough to run it fast.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Am I like Britney Spears?

If you saw the recent MTV Video Music Awards you will know that just like me, Britney Spears is attempting to stage a much needed a comeback. Also like me, she is embarassingly out of shape (ie. fat), unsure of herself (ie. nervous to the point of not being able to even lipsync), and unquestionably nowhere near as good as she used to be (ie. crap). Her new "song" opens with "It's Britney, Bitch!"

So get ready, cos..... "It's Alan, Bitch!"

After my stupid "fast lap" last week I have learned another lesson: basically running fast laps is going to bugger up my achilles until I am in much better shape. So the plan is to not do them anymore. That run was Wednesday and I didn't run again until late Friday afternoon, and it was a lame run. Felt sore right from the start and really sluggish. The least impressive run I've had in a long time (which is truly saying something). After that I bagged the entire weekend (most of which was spent in referee school thanks to my lovely wife who decided I should volunteer to ref my son's U7 AYSO soccer games - which I'm sure will be great for my achilles).

It's a day off work for me today and I woke up with all my various ailments feeling pretty good so I went for a 9am run along with all the other slackers that don't have real jobs. The plan was to go a little longer than recently (6-7 miles) with some tempo pace miles in there (7:30ish pace) but nothing faster than that.

Easy first 1/2 mile and then eased into a 7:45 pace. Slowed right down going up the 50' hill and then pick it up as I rolled down the gradual hill for the next 2.5 miles. Averaged 7:25 for those 2.5 miles which felt good. Slowed it down to low 8's for the 2 miles home. Overall a good run, 7:48 pace, 159 heartrate with about 300' of hills. The best run I've had recently, but still far short of 4 months ago.

Comparing to a similar run in mid May: I did the 2.5miles at about 6:45, and the easy miles were high 7s vs low 8s. It's also shocking how easy those high 7's were back then, heartrate was going down as I ran them. Today it was steady at best at low 8's.

I think that both me and Britney have some more work to do. I think I'll give her a call and we can work on this together.... "Hey Britney, it's Alan, Bitch!"

Thursday, September 6, 2007

OK, I think.....

So I think I'm OK. Things were definitely a tad "extended" this morning; both ankles and my right knee were pretty achey (sounds like a country & western song...), but by this evening everything is almost back to normal. I spent a lot of time stretching, especially the calves, and then lots of icing. Now it's 10:30pm and I have convinced myself that it's all fine.

I guess I'll find out on my next run which will be tomorrow - I'm gonna run 5-6 miles in the afternoon/evening; all very easy stuff around 8-8:30 pace. I'm thinking of running at Bair Island, which is just a few miles south of Oracle. There's a 3 mile loop which is supposed to be nice and it's all soft flat trails, which would probably be a good idea right now. Hopefully I don't get attacked by a goose.

Zooming forward, to when I am able to run instead of hobble like the old person I appear to have become, I mapped a route from Oracle to my house today. It's just over 19 miles so I am looking forward to the time when I can work that into my schedule. It'll be cool to turn up 10 minutes late to a meeting and say "Sorry I'm late, I ran to work"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Maybe not so smart

On the way back from a very good 5 miler tonight I ran by the high school track and decided to run a lap or two. Things were feeling good so for some reason I thought that a near flat out 400 would be fun - did it in 86 seconds and it felt pretty comfortable. Haven't been anywhere near that sort of pace (5:39) for a very, very long time.

Now it's a few hours later and after some easy stretching and a soak in the hot tub I am feeling it in both achilles tendons and also my right knee. If I've screwed things up with just one fast lap then I am a complete idiot and may as well just pack it in now, become fat and buy a buick.

I'll do some serious stretching/icing tonight and see what tomorrow brings......

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A new beginning

So I've decided that September is going to be a great month. I've had enough worrying about my achilles, my fitness, upcoming races, and training for London.

So I'm just going to go out and run. Seems simple, but it's a new approach for me.

I ran Sunday and Monday, both runs were 5-6 miles, at just over, and then just under 8 minute pace. Took it easy on any uphills, and tried not to get carried away on the downs. Both runs felt really good. I'm making sure that I stretch excessively, do all my calf exercises and do plenty of icing. Everything seems to be OK so far, so I'm going to keep rolling with it. Took today off, but will run again Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Maybe I'll even try going up to 7-8 miles at the weekend.

I do realise that I am on something of a rollercoaster in terms of feeling positive/negative about this running crap but I swear that this time it's different! (I hope....)