Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Choosing to lose smaller battles, but not the war

-Chilao already open for camping/running, Buckhorn soon to open in a few weeks.

When I look at my running over the past few years, I don’t remember many injuries standing out too badly other than an IT Band problem after my first 100 in ‘08, and some on and off plantar fascitis. I’ve run a significant amount of miles in that time period, but I’ve also taken off a good amount of days. I think the best way to describe it actually is the said title. My technical mind doesn’t just feel injuries coming on; it also sees them.

When my patella tendon finally couldn’t handle any more abusive downhill running 2 weeks ago, I felt (and saw in my mind) the patella tendon flaring up on the inside of my knee, and its rubbing across the joint. After a strong 23 miler with Chris Price two Saturdays ago, I woke up Sunday with a sore knee and tried to push myself out on another run, and almost paid a much steeper price (pun intended, that dude climbs pretty well). I had tried to warm up in the flat, but it wouldn’t loosen up one bit. I thought I just needed a PT strap, so I improvised and wrapped my t-shirt around my knee, but the only thing that did was strain the back of my knee. Though I had planned to run a relaxed 15-20 miles, I hobbled to a painfully slow 7 miles in 2 hours. Needless to say, this was a bad idea.. So I got a real PT strap, looked at my diet, stretching, training, training terrain, and adjusted a lot. And things are slowly starting to turn around.

-Smoothing out my inertia is a work in progress..

Whether you’re short, tall, all torso, no neck, big thighed, small eared, cankled, freckled, or spreckled there is an optimal physique and respective stride for your dream race. Personally, mine is just the right amount of lean muscle in my thighs, and a toned core and calves. When injuries happen, the failure of the joint or muscle has a reason to it. I looked at my stride in the mirror on a treadmill running at different inclines and paces and noticed a lot of movement in my quads. This movement was most likely due to the stress of keeping my upper torso in alignment while still negotiating technical trails. This pretty much goes directly against what I preach: run with your entire body, absorb the impact completely from your toes to fingertips, and then push back with the entire body. Connecting the arms to the legs and efficiently transmitting the kinetic energy between each is biomechanical teamwork, which does in FACT make the dream-work.

So, I am working in more core work again. For awhile I neglected this, but this injury is definitely 100% related to it. I am also cutting down my protein/meat intake a little bit, and mixing in more olive oil. I actually eat a lot of protein: on average 2/3 of my meals have a significant serving of protein and that often comes with lower quality fats from animal sources. The result being that I don’t have the good fats I need to lubricate joints (i.e. Udo’s) and sometimes not enough carbs. I don’t recommend everyone cut down their protein intake (in fact I think a lot of runners are under!), I just think that mine is a little over.

Anyways, the last two weeks have been around 60-80 miles, nothing great, but just recovering and adapting. This week is already off to a great start as a final last gasp to put down some good mileage for Miwok.

The view from Charlton Flats

The melodic stylings of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - Vocal Chords


Chris Price said...

Sorry to hear that your knee is still messed up, but it sounds like you're doing your due diligence to help it heal.

You'll be "up and running" again in time for Miwok... you better kick ass and take names up there.

Peace out.

Dominic Grossman said...

Yeah I'm hoping all those other guys doing Jemez and all these other crazy races aren't cyborgs persay.. It's all about July 23rd anyways ;)

But so far this week, the knee and legs have been good!

A Salinger said...

D don't destroy da knee. Keep it safe and sane.