Friday, February 13, 2015

What Will 2015 Bring?

Apparently when I type in "" into my browser window and my computer sends me to Twitter instead, it must be telling me it's been a long time since I've been here.

Usually by now I've written a 2014 Year In Review and a 2015 Race Schedule Post.  Hell, I've even missed an entire race report (Groundhog Run 10k - 42:22 - 52 out of 1380 Overall - 11 of out 95 Age Group. Race Report Done).

So let's look forward: 2015 is a big year regardless of how it turns out.  Boston Marathon in April and Ironman Louisville (with Kona on the brain) in October.  Hard to get much bigger than that.

Now let's look backwards.... to about 3 weeks ago.  I had an awesome week of training.  Some good speed work and a good long run with a hill focus.  Then the following week the legs started to wear down on me.  Specifically, my left quad as it was sore.  Groundhog Run was coming, which generally meant less mileage for the week but a race is a race.

The next week was another good week of speed and marathon pace running (all on a treadmill) and a 16 miler in cold, soggy weather.  Legs were cranky, again.  Following the long run I did a bike/treadmill brick.  It was only 30 minutes running but the legs were dead.  They didn't want to move.  I did 3 miles in those thirty minutes (in good condition, it would have been 4 miles).  My left leg occasionally felt completely weak pushing off, potentially causing a highly embarrassing treadmill fall.

In addition to all of this, my foot neuroma was rearing its ugly head.  My left foot was bugging me.  It had actually started bugging me near the end of the summer but only a bit.  After ramping up my running, it created a concern, just like it did last year.

After talking with coach, he culled back some of my running. I still had a nice long run of 17 miles to do on Sunday.  I felt pretty good with it.  I did that 17 miler at 7:50 pace.  My quad felt good but not great.  It didn't feel worse.  The following days my calf muscles were more sore than anything else.

I then decided it's time to do something.  I talked to the foot doctor who I saw last year.  During my appointment with him on Monday, he gave me another cortisone shot to help reduce the swelling around the neuroma.  We also examined my foot x-ray some more and he showed how I have less space between 2nd and 3rd metatarsals on my left foot.  This causes the irritation of the nerve, creating the swelling.  The goal is to keep the swelling down so as to not create fibrous scar tissue.  This would require some kind of invasive surgery to correct.  Boo.

I've adjusted my footwear by wearing street shoes at work, added felt metatarsal pads to my running shoes and am researching out wide cycling shoes.

I then called up an apportionment with my regular doctor and met with him on Wednesday about my quad issue.  I hesitated on this because I just knew if I could get through this week it would miraculously be better.  But I also knew that my right shin was starting to bark at me.  This was because my left quad was causing me to shift my gait and irritating my right shin. Crap.

If it didn't get better, I was surely on the way to shin splints, if not a stress fracture.

While I do like my physician and he is a casual runner (he has done various 5Ks, 4 milers, and half marathons... thank you,, I contemplated going to a sports physician. Someone with my mindset and he/she may have more experience with this kind of thing from a running perspective.

I stayed the course though.  My doc did various leg rotation and range tests to see what might be going on.  He admitted that it would be difficult to diagnose without a MRI.  So he prescribed three things: steroid (please don't read this, anti-droping commission), anti-inflammatory, and two weeks of minimal running.


Sent a message off to the coach and he adjusted my schedule.  Looks like Sunday is going to be a sleep in, roll out of bed, and "run" for 30 minutes.  Ugh.

Swimming and cycling are no issue.  I may move some of the runs into the water for less impact.  Need to research that out.

So again I ask, "What will 2015 bring?".  I don't want it to be the year of injuries.  I've only dealt with two injuries. Shin splints in 2010 and broken ribs in 2011. That's more than enough for me.

I'm hoping I caught whatever this is soon enough.  In about a month I was probably going to be hitting my first 20 miler.  If I take two weeks off, I feel quite confident that I can still hit 20 miles plenty before Boston.  I am just going to have to adjust my Boston goal to be more about enjoying the experience than trying to qualify for 2016; however, I have no plans to run Boston a 2nd time anytime soon.  I just want to run it a 1st time... and for that to be in 2015.

If I try to push through this, I could very likely damage my season and I definitely don't want to do that.  I loved everything about my Beach2Battleship 140.6 experience and having completed awesome training leading up to it was key to that experience.  I want Ironman Louisville to be even better.

So I'm trying to not wallow.  I have swimming and cycling to keep up my cardio fitness and I can still get in some running, albeit in short amounts and slower paced.

So here is to 2015!  If anything, this is going to be a year of lots of experiences and lots of learning.

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