Friday, January 22, 2010

The Long View

Time to blow the dust off the old blog, I suppose. A perfect storm of insanity has kept me away: work, aging parent headaches, injuries. The first two problems would be more manageable but for the last one. After my last visit to the doctor some time ago, I decided to attempt to run through my left leg issues (shin, calf, quad). After all, the doc said he thought the root of my problem was my lower back - so the whole thing was just nerve-induced pain. No biggie. Right.

Well, I ran for a while and it was good for my mental wellbeing (I didn't want to kill anyone on a daily basis). But there was never a run without some sort of leg pain. Sometimes the shin was fine, but the calf was a problem. Other times my quad was tender. Other times it was the same old shin issue. Then, three weeks ago, after a nice weekend of trail runs, my shin hurt in a new and disturbing way. In fact, there was this redish / bruised spot right at the site of the pain (which was now localized rather than diffuse). And the tibia, well it was extremely pressure sensitive. Bad combination. After some in-depth online research, I felt reasonably certain that if I didn't have a stress fracture before, I had one now. Rather than shell out more money for doctors and imaging studies, I made the decision to simply treat it like I would treat a stress fracture. That means no running or other significant weight-bearing exercise for 8-10 weeks. So, come early March, we'll see where we are.

This decision was certainly easier to make three weeks ago when the shin still hurt. But now that it feels pretty good, I'm starting to get antsy. Knowing that I'd quickly devolve into a grumpy tub of goo if I didn't do something, I held my nose and . . . yes, joined a gym. You see, I hate gyms. It's just not my scene. But I had to do something. And, actually, I found a pretty good one - small, just down the street from work, not crowded, reasonably priced (no contract either!). And, did I mention that it shares a building with a modeling agency? Sweet.

For now, it's dull-as-dirt sessions on the stationary bike and some work on the weights. In a couple of weeks, maybe I'll mix in some time on the elliptical. Yea. Come early March, the plan is start walking again, then mix the walking with some short bursts of running, then all running. Baby steps. And a completely new race schedule. Nothing until late-spring / early summer, and no serious races until next Fall. Intrigued by Joe Prusaitis's Gila Gundred in September. No details posted yet, but that part of New Mexico is supposed to be rugged and beautiful. We shall see.

Until then, going to focus on helping put together a truly first-rate aid station for Rocky Raccoon 100 this year. HTREX is sponsoring the Park Road Aid Station (at roughly miles 15, 35, 55, 75, and 95). Turnout should be HUGE - closing in on over 700 runners in both the 100 and 50. We'll have a Mardi Gras theme, a great group of volunteers, top-notch food and drink, and beads. Laissez les bon temps roulez!