First I'll tell you the back story before getting to the actual injuries. My goal for 2012 was to get faster. I had hit a speed plateau that was far from my goal. My goal, incidentally, is to run a 5K in 18 minutes and 40 seconds or at an average pace of 6 minutes per mile. I'm currently stuck in the 21 min range right around 7 minutes per mile. My thinking going into 2012 was to improve my aerobic capacity and I thought the best way to do that was to run more miles. Until September hit I was on pace to break 1,000 miles for the year. In 2011 I was averaging about 60 miles a month. I was consistent running 3 to 4 days a week. In March of 2012 you can see the spike to 80+ miles a week and in July, gooood night, almost 120 miles. I accomplished this by running 6 days a week at a pretty slow pace. I was trying to build aerobic not anaerobic.
|Bix 7 Elevation Profile|
|Bix 7 Friends|
Shortly after the race was finished we stopped to grab a sandwich and we drove up to Green Bay, Wisconsin for the Welcome to Training Camp Packer 5K at Lambeau Field. The race started at 7pm. The race where my rival, aka brother in law Jason, beat me.
|Green Bay 5K|
I was furious. These were my notes from my running log about that race "It just wasn't there tonight. I didn't want to hurt so I didn't push. I should have pushed hard in the first mile when I was feeling good and just held on like normal. I'm pretty upset about this race. Time to hit the tempos and track work hard. very hard!" and notes from the following run on the following day "Ran hard, walked, ran hard walked. Very angry run. It appears I need stamina runs at a good speed. I'm so upset with yesterdays race. I've never been so impassioned to improve. Fall is coming and I'm just not ready yet." I remember being near tears on this run. I worked so hard all summer to improve. Double races, extra miles. Fall is coming fast and I'm slower than I was a year ago. I went into panic mode. Speed work. I needed speed work. Lets throw in 2 sessions a week and keep running 6 days a week. That will do it.
Well. It did it alright. I ignored a nagging pain in my left foot that according to my running log started to be noticeable enough back in late July (ding! ding! hello!) that I made mention of it in my notes "Yesterdays good run, today's ughh run, until I realized that I ran faster in a hotter temperature. Still not as smooth as yesterday felt. Started out in the GoRuns today, but noticed my left heel was hurting. So I quickly turned around went back home and changed shoes. I figured I'd have to adjust to the GoRuns. They have a low heel drop that will stress the achilles and calf muscles which typically results in heal pain. Once I switched the pain went away. The rest of the run was mentally tough with the heat. Got that tired sluggish feeling." I made it worse in August with the extra speed work in those low heel drop shoes. Sanity returned after a 10 mile run in late August when I realized my heel problem wasn't going away it was actually getting worse. The injury alarm that I was ignoring finally got through.
I was even more frustrated because the fall races that start in September were just a few weeks away and I still wasn't ready. Now on top of not being ready I have to rest my foot. I thought if I just give it 2 weeks off I will be okay. It would heal up and I could still salvage the season. I stopped my training and joined a fall softball league figuring I'd still be able to stay in shape and the minimal running shouldn't be an issue.
If you didn't see it coming here it is - injury #2. My worn out body was not ready for, nor in shape to handle, softball. As a runner you get this false sense of security that you are in great shape and can handle any type of physically demanding activity especially one that involves your legs. A sprint to first base in the second inning proved me wrong. As I was trying to leg out a poorly hit ground ball to the short stop I felt and heard a loud "THUD" in the back of my left leg. My hand immediately grabbed my hamstring as I tried hopping the rest of the way to 1st base. I managed to crawl the remaining 10 ft where I stayed on the ground for a few minutes to gather my senses. I was in a small state of shock. I couldn't put any weight on it and had to be carried to the bench where I spent the rest of the night on an ice pack. All I could think was "great, another 2 weeks lost"
This is where the story gets better. I went to ATI for my physically therapy at the Joliet West ATI facility where Deb put me back together. I went 3 days a week from the end of December to beginning of February. I love making new friends. I'm an extrovert extraordinaire and the staff at ATI in Joliet were my kind of people. Even the other patients were pulled in and I made friends with them too. We joked and laughed everyday. It was good healing.
|2012 - 2013 miles|
I was released the second week of February with permission to run. Run slow and run short, but I could run. As you can see I've slowly and carefully been building back the miles. Only running 3 to 4 days a week with 2 cross training days and a full rest day on Sundays.
Now that my distance is decent I'm starting to work on speed again. Carefully and cautiously. I'm racing my first 5K since last Decembers 5K that resulted in me walking in the middle of it. I feel pretty confident that this will be a good race to springboard forward into the summer training. I have 2 half marathons that I'm training for this year and of course the fall race season. With some smart training I should be able to slide 15 seconds per mile closer to my goal.