Monday, October 28, 2013

Sometimes I simply amaze myself...

I think I have a corner on the market for stupid!  But this time I outdid myself and even I am having trouble believing that I was this freaking stupid!

My training has been absolutely fantastic! One run after another was continuing to just get better and better.  Endurance was improving. Speed was improving. And my overall fitness level has been increasing significantly.  My pain was decreasing all the time.  Everything was getting better and better!

But I know for certain that my hip and my toe don't like uneven surfaces.  Even walking the trails at Medoc getting ready for the Medoc Trail Races let me know without a doubt that I should not be doing trails of any nature.  Be fine but then there would be one rock or one pine cone or one stick That I would step on and I would immediately feel pain.  Not a terrible pain but the pain that lets me know that I'm not anywhere close to 100%.

Actually my toe is doing fantastic!  The pain I'm feeling there is simply a "range of motion" pain that, while sharp, is not troublesome.  It's my hip that is actually my bigger problem.  Now been just over two years and my hip has not fully recovered . . . and maybe it will never be!

Me wrong . . . it's not bad.  When the hip starts hurting it's something between pain, a burning and an odd weakness that I feel.  Never terrible but when it starts it's doesn't get better during a run.

I've known I need to stay away from trails for a while.  Maybe even forever.  While trails were always my first love, I still enjoy running on the roads.  And having to give up trails is far from the end of the world!

So after marking all the trails for the Medoc Trail Races I knew that I needed to stay away from the trails for at least several months.  No walking or no running on trails.  Period.  Paragraph.  End of story!

Well it should have been the end of the story but this last weekend my stupidity took hold!

With all the improving I have been doing I was looking forward to getting out and trying to race again.  A real race!  So I found there was a 5K and 10K race last weekend near where I  live called "The Picasso Run."  The website showed people happily running on roads!  Perfect!!  So Saturday morning I drove to Roanoke Rapids for the race and entered the 10k. 

At the race briefing about five minutes before the start of the race I heard the race director mention "the condition of the trail was excellent but with some leaves down!"

What the hell?  Condition of the TRAIL?  What fucking trail????????

Ask one of the guys standing near me how much trailer was since we were starting on the road.  The first quarter of a mile was a road but then we entered the trail for the rest of the way!! I knew this trail well as I wanted many many times,  It's an extremely easy trail with fairly good footing and just minor hills. (In full disclosure I must say that on the website, it clearly said "5k & 10k Trail Race" . . . guess I just didn't read that close enough!!)

Right then I should have called it a day!

But since the trail was an easy trail I told myself that maybe I could do it and not hurt myself.  And actually during the run I did fairly well.  The pain wasn't bad at all and I thought I had dodged a bullet!  No residual pain!

That is until I went for my run this morning!  After taking Sunday off for rest I headed out for my run this morning and I instantly knew everything was NOT right!  Hip pain was there from the first stride!  And it just got worse and worse as a went so out about 1.5 miles I stopped running, turned around and walked home.

I'm fairly sure this is nothing really serious.  I'm almost 100% certain I did no real damage.  But what I did was just STUPID.  I'll take a couple of days off and I'll be fine.  Physically that is. 

Mentally . . . I don't think you can fix stupid!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Picking up speed . . .

Okay . . . you all that know me are well aware that this blog entry is somehow misnamed!! 
"Triple F doesn't pick up any f'in' speed!  Hell . . . to him speed is an ugly word!!"
Well that is true . . . BUT it's also not true at all!  Guess that needs some explainin'!!!

So I'm not running faster.  In fact I'm running slower!!  That's right . . . slower! My run pace before was about 11 - 11:30 per mile . . . but I walked often!  That did slow my overall pace to around a 14:30 pace.  But recently I've been focusing on running as far as I can and then walking as I need to.  And the net effect is my overall times are improving!!  Maybe 13:50 or so now.  Magic!!  Faster by being slower!  Only I could come up with something like this!!

Now don't get me wrong!  I'm still not able to run all that far without having to walk.  Today was my furthest . . . a whopping 6.7 miles before I had to walk!  Ended up doing about 8.2 miles in 1:54.

My plan is to keep adding distance as I can.  And once I'm not feeling foot pain (if that ever happens!!) I'll start adding some intervals or "rocking chairs" to my weekly training.

The Rocking Chair - Steeper than it looks!
Intervals everyone understands but you may not be familiar with a "Rocking Chair" . . . okay . . . you probably ARE familiar with a rocking chair but not THAT kind!!!  Idiot!!  

My rocking chairs are really a run I do on a road near my house where the road drops steeply over maybe 60 yards and then climbs back up the essentially the same level over the next 60 yards.  So the road sort of looks like the rocker on a rocking chair. 

So you slowly run down the dip, run hard up the other side to the top, turn around and run back down slow and fast up the other side for one cycle!  It doesn't take too many of these to kick my ass!

So I'm seeing some good improvement in my running and I'm DEFINITELY going to be ready for Croatan 24.  There I'll revert to a very easy run / walk interval but I plan to keep moving the full 24 hours!  I'm excited!  I'm planning to kick some ass out there!!  LOL!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Doctor says I'm as "fixed" as he can make me!!

Had my final review complete with x-rays yesterday and basically the doctor says I'm as good as he can make me!!  LOL!

Dr. Purvis is first to say that the job he did putting my toe back together is no where near as good as what God did originally . . . but all bones appear to be properly aligned and functioning for the most part.  Still remaining range of motion issues in "the little piggy that when wee wee wee all the way home" . . . but no more surgical tweaking seems to be needed.  Honestly, my two damaged toes do just plain look weird and each one points in an odd direction!  But fundamentally . . . everything is okay!

I told the doctor that he must have put some sort of governor in my foot that goes off at 6-8 miles when it all starts to hurt and burn!!  He laughed and said I needed to "listen to my body!"  What the hell does that mean??  So I'm listening there body . . . now what the hell am I supposed to do!

We runners (especially ultra runners) are ALWAYS listening to our bodies . . . and we are constantly evaluating and trying to decide if the pain we feel is caused by increasing trauma . . . or is the pain just plain pain!!  If there is increasing trauma . . . we stop!  But if it's just pain . . . well . . . suck it up buttercup!!

The doctor finally agreed that if I was feeling pain, that pain was pain almost certainly from scar tissue and there should be no serious damage by continuing on!  So that is awesome news!  Real "piece of mind" when the burning starts!  He did warn me to be REALLY careful going up hills . . . the range of motion / bending issue is made worse going up hills.  He really urged me to walk hills slowly with as little bending as I can do.  THAT won't be a problem at all!!  LOL!!  He thinks I actually RUN everything!!

So I guess I'm good to go!

But I guess the question still does remain . . . can I "Suck it up Buttercup" when I need to???  Guess we'll have to see on that one!

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.