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Saturday, July 12, 2014

A new challenge

Given that I am almost 40 years old and have been running competitively for over half of my life, I am, in part, lucky to never have suffered a running injury...until now. Genetics and my marathon shuffle (low impact) likely played a part in my great "run" of being injury-free, but the streak is OVER.

I started having tightness/soreness on the inside of my right knee-area and directly under the knee cap in April. I originally thought that it was some form of tendinitis as the discomfort would disappear after I warmed up. I did a workout on winding trails in June. During the workout I did not feel a thing, but later that day the discomfort was worse than normal. I picked up my icing sessions, but the discomfort continued to worsen. By late June I realized that I needed to take time off.

I took two weeks of no running. The knee felt much better so I tried a run. I made it less than a mile. Uh-oh.

This week I went to an orthopedist. He took some X-rays and ruled out bone and arthritis issues. The most likely candidates now include a meniscus tear, which I will need an MRI to determine. I am hoping to get in next week for the imaging and back to the doctor for an analysis of the results.

I was initially very upset about being "for real" hurt, imagined every worst case scenario possible, and was absurdly weepy. This response was of course ridiculous and inefficient. Reason #100021 to have a good coach. Coach Clifford challenged me to embrace the forced time off as a time to work on my form and take a mental break from running. Additionally he gave me an aquatic plan that should allow me to maintain my fitness. Challenge taken.

I am about to complete my first week of cross training and I have no doubt that I will be an aqua-beast by the time I return to running. I was in France for the first few days of the week (without a pool), so the week looked like this:

Monday: 30 minutes stationary bike, 30 minutes strength and balance training; plenty of walking around France (shopping!!)

Tuesday: 30 minutes stationary bike, 30 minutes strength and balance training; travel back to the US

Wednesday: 2400 yds. (500 free warm up, 400 kick, 300 pull, 200 build, 5 x 100, 500 free cool down); got some stroke tips from Coach Tom

Thursday: 20 minutes stationary bike, 50 minutes strength and balance training (pool closed due to thunder); aquajog in the ICW (10 min. warm up, 2 sets of 5 x 1:30 hard with :30 rest (2-3 minutes between sets), 10 min. cool down)

Friday:  300 free warm up, aquajog workout (5 minutes warm up, 2 sets of 14 minutes (1 hard, 1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, 3 hard, 1 easy, then back down), 10 minute cool down), 300 pull, 2x50 on 1:00, 2x100 on 2:00, 2x150 on 3:00, 1x200 on 4:00, then back down, 200 back alternating kick and pull, 100 cool down for a total swim of 2500 yds.

Saturday: 500 free warm up, 400 kick, 300 pull, aquajog workout (3 minutes easy, 4 x 5:00 hard with 1:00 easy between, 3:00 easy, 5 x :45 very hard on 2:00, 10:00 cool down), 300 pull, 5x100 with paddles and alternating with buoy, 200 back alternating kick and swim, 4 x 50 free hard on 1:00, 100 cool down for a swim total of 2500 yds.

Sunday: A scheduled day off from the pool with 45:00 of yoga/stretching/balance/strength

Total swimming: 7,400 yards
Total aquajogging: 2:21:00
Total strength/balance: 2:35:00
Total bike: 1:20:00

Whew. Bring it on! My hopes are still alive for running Cal International Marathon in December.

Until next week,


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