Monday, January 24, 2011

Are Treadmills a Good Simulation for the Death Race?

I've come to the conclusion if the Death Race was run on the treadmill..... I could do it next month. I ran another 13.1 Miles on the treadmill last night. Although it was my slowest time yet (I blame that on the 15 ounce steak and all the fixings I had for lunch. Not to mention the two football games I sat around and watched all afternoon). I've been waiting for a couple of sunny days so I can go outside and give my treadmill a break. I ran the half marathon last night in my new running shoes and  my feet are a little sore today. I've been trying to lose 10 pounds and last night I weighed in at a whoping 159.8 pounds. My Goal by the Death Race is to be around 155. So far this month I have run 103.4 Miles!!

On another note.....I've heard that dogs look and run like their owners!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Promoting Circulation

My Achilles Tendon (AT) has been pain free since last I wrote, but it has been a bit tight. Yesterday, I took my dogs for a 5k trail run--my dog Ringo seriously runs like a rabbit, not in terms of speed but in terms of form; his back legs don't rotate. They are synchronous! I digress.

Anyway, today I went on my most regular route--a 10k road run with moderate hills. I decided that I would use a heating pad (which my coupon savvy wife got for free, along with about 20 other heating pads and approximately 10,000 rolls of toilet paper) to warm up my AT before my run, so I could stretch both before and after. After wearing the heating pad for about twenty minutes, I felt like I was loosening up nicely, so I just kept it on during my whole run. Not sure if it made any difference other than placebo, but sometimes a little placebo is just what you need. (Of course, this could have obvious adverse effects, as well...)

***Tip of the day: After running, I did a little research on the effects of heating/icing the for various leg injuries. The AT, I discovered, has very poor blood circulation and therefore minimal cellular activity (since blood is what carries cells), which is necessary for normal recovery (from a workout) and abnormal repair (from an injury). So heat, which promotes blood flow, subsequently promotes cellular activity, which in turns speeds up the healing process. So maybe the standard cure-all RICE (rest/ice/compression/elevation) should be modified, at least for Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy, to RHICE. Then again, I'm totally unqualified to conjecture in the field of medicine, so...don't sue me.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Learning As I Go...

Last year, it was achilles tendinitis that prevented my participation in the 70.3 triathlon I was planning to do...

So I'm sitting here today with an ice pack on my achilles tendon (AT). Last night, during my trail run, I was on a long hill and my right AT began to feel tight, so I adjusted and tried to land as flat footed as possible up the hill and began heel striking for the rest of my run.

In my ambition to train without shin splints, I resolved to try to train almost exclusively on the trails for this first month or so. But I now realize that running on the trail requires an entirely different foot strike--forefoot striking--than what my feet, tendons, lower legs are used to--heel striking. This put too much stress on my AT too fast and caused the resultant strain. (Running barefoot the other night probably didn't help matters). I can only hope I noticed early enough that it's not a big deal. So, two things I've learned.

Wisdom: Training on trails will help build up the muscles/tendons, etc., that I will be using most on the CDR.

Caution: At this point, running exclusively on trails will likely give me tendinitis!

So I've decided to rest a couple days (back to the God-forsaken elliptical), and when I return I'll be back on the road, at least part of the time.

***One cool thing that came out of it: Last night I had the guys in my Youth Group pray over me; and, in fact, I had no pain in this morning when I woke up. I'm still going to proceed with caution, but I'm thankful to God for his heeling power, not to mention the gift of legs and feet!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

125k Simulation Hike

BTW, in the first week of February, I am going on a five day hiking trip (a graduation gift from my amazing wife). I thought that this would be a perfect time to simulate the death race trail, since I won't be able to visit beforehand. I am putting together a loop in the Smokey Mountains that will include parts of the Appalachian Trail and subsidiary trails that will be required to loop back. I'll post the trail on here...if I can figure out how to do so.


First Run Back...Felt GREAT

After taking almost three weeks off running to let my shin splints heel (the result of jumping into 6, 8, 10, and 12 mile runs in a matter of weeks after not seriously running for about three months!)--with a lot of strength training, stretching, biking, and even the dreaded elliptical...oh yeah, and yoga--I went for my first run tonight: a short 5k trail run (43 deg. f; raining)  Well, at least it was supposed to be. I... admittedly...fell for the ol' I-feel-great-so-I'm-going-to-keep-going trick. I ended up finally stopping myself after remembering that the initial cause of shin splints is never painful, and once they show up, it's too late! So I finished up at about 4mi.

However, I decided to take the dogs for a walk when I got (I've been going barefoot as much as possible, trying to strengthen my feet/lower legs). That ended up being about a mile barefoot jog (and frikkin' cold).

So I'm feeling good, but I need accountability not to get overambitious. I'm going to continue on this 5k course for three more days, have a day of cross training, and then run a 5mi. on Sunday--all on the trails. I'm not going to transition back to roads for at least a few weeks.


Another LONG run???

Last night I decided I was going to run another 10 to 13 miles after running the half marathon on Saturday. I got 5 miles into the run and decided that was enough for tonight. I am getting a feeling that I need to run some long runs so I can feel more what it is like to run fatigued. My goal is 100 miles on the treadmill this month and then next month I will keep track of times. During my Law 12 class I showed the students youtube clips racfrom the death race. That got me motivated. Only 6 month left to go!!


Down with Shin Splints. Up with....Yoga?

Last night I found myself awkwardly pretzeling, falling, rolling, bridging, namaste-ing all over my living room floor. I must have looked...correction...I did look like a complete idiot. That's right, I was doing yoga. I must say, if there ever were something that worked every obscure muscle in my feet and legs, it's yoga. I not only did yoga, but I did yoga for an hour and a half. It was FriKKin' hard.

Anyway, until I figure out how to do a spreadsheet on here (while in the middle of a J-term Hebrew intensive), I'll just be posting my workouts like this.

Tonight, after my Hebrew class (at 9:00p), I'll be going for a short 5k on CC trails. It will be good for me to run doing the night to get used to running with a headlamp...and that's the only extra time I have.


Monday, January 17, 2011

From Recovery to Training

This is a shared blog between two masochists, Jeremy Spainhour and Brock Currie, training for the Canadian Death Race. Since we live on opposite sides of the continent, this blog will serve as a means of accountability and solidarity--although pain is always experienced alone.

We will mainly be logging miles, times, etc., but we will also use this for sharing experiences, information, advice, and encouragement. If anyone happens upon this blog who is a distance runner, we would covet your input.

***Last year I was well set to swim/bike/run my first 70.3 triathlon, until I got a bad case of Achilles Tendinitis. Since then, I have experienced issues with my lower leg, both in my tendon and medial tibia (i.e., "shin splints"). I have recently begun specific strength training exercises and stretching, which seems to be helping. I am happy to report (though not with overly naive optimism) that I currently have no pain. So I'm going to begin my running this week at very short distances on CC trails (5ks), and supplement my training with time on the elliptical machine and continued strength training and stretching. So...we'll see.