March 22, 2010
GAME ON! I wasn’t really sure what to expect returning to see Dr. Bradley after my 3 weeks of physical therapy. The therapy has been very educational, I have a much better understanding of what went wrong and how to avoid doing it again, but that marathon is getting awfully close and I have not been running. Dr. Bradley walks into the rooms having done the math saying 4 weeks and 3 days until the race. We chatted a bit before he gave me an enthusiastic “well, you can try”. We talked about training plans, then I left without plans to return if something else went wrong. My plan is to test the knee first thing in the morning.
With good weather I cautiously set out for my most basic and probably favorite run, to tag the lighthouse. It’s a brief and pleasant course from my house, down to the cove and along Fort Ave. and Derby Street to Derby wharf, take a left at the Customs House, out the wharf to the light and back. All in about 3-1/4 miles. It felt great. The only remaining questions are; how durable is my knee? And how much endurance remains in my base? This time last year, I was training beyond 20 miles on my long runs.
The plan calls for lots of rest, no run today, just some stretching.
With only about a month left, I am a bit worried about endurance. My conundrum is that I need to get my mileage up very quickly knowing that increasing one’s mileage too quickly dramatically increases one’s chances of injury, or in my case, re-injury. I think the only thing to do is walk out the door and run as far as I can, then turn around and run home. I need to find out is how much of my base remains and then plan accordingly. The sun is shining and it’s warm enough, let’s go! Not yet, the battery is dead on my stride sensor (the stride sensor talks to my HRM and watch to tell me how far and fast I am running). After three stops, I found a replacement battery at Radio Shack. The guy behind the counter tried to upsell me on wireless services. Finally, about noon, I’m off.
About 14.1 miles later. It was really nice out, but chilly along the route, so I turned away from the coastal route and headed inland for a less picturesque but warmer path. My legs felt pretty durable and reasonably pain-free from the outset. I ran the first handful of miles at a comfortable 9:30 pace but eventually found myself at about 10:30. The route took me out to Swampscott with a foot falls into Lynn before getting back into Salem and the long home stretch along Highland Ave / Essex Street. I could feel the fuel supply running short at about the 10 mile mark and by the time I got close to home, I was definitely running low. On the cardio side of things, my heart rate was pretty high for what used to be a nearly effortless pace. Clearly both cardio fitness and endurance have both degraded, but now I have my answer, I can manage 15 miles and should have no trouble stretching that to 20 by race day. Only 6.2m or 10k gap to close. I am a bit sore but nothing unmanageable. Next weekend is the traditional 3 weeks before the race 20 miler on the race course. Should I do this? Stay tuned.
March 9, 2010
Atticus and Alexander
Atticus and his younger brother Alexander. Yes that’s a boy, 100%! Alexander hasn’t let a pair of scissors near his hair since it grew back after the 3.5 long years of chemo. Apologies in advance to hapless restaurant servers who mistakenly lets a “her” or “she” slip when taking orders; Alexander is quick to demand correction regarding gender references. Like I said 100% boy.
March 8, 2010
So you think running a marathon is painful; the truth is it’s only painful running those last 20 or so miles. Physical therapy – now that really hurts. My new bi-weekly appointments are underway and they have this particularly resourceful form of torture where I balance my body weight on a piece of foam. The single point of contact is my IT band and then I have to
roll up and down. Kristin says it sounds like it would “hurt so good”. I say bring on Heartbreak Hill any day. However, I think it has helped, but then it may just be the meds.
They won’t let me run yet and now that the sun is shining, I am getting quite antsy. Doc Bradley will make the call on the 18th. I am getting worried about not putting up miles. I suppose the trick will be to restart the running and get the mileage up fast without re-injuring my knee or any other essential body part. I did order some fancy new headphones in anticipation.
On the news front; we have a new URL – MecheMarathonBlog.com and we have some snappy new wristbands coming.
February 26, 2010
My Knee Doctor
Just returned from High Performance Sports Medicine—yeah they agreed to see me despite my modest performance status—Dr. Bradley has offered a diagnosis; Quad Tendonitis and Patello-Femoral Syndrome, AKA jumpers knee. I asked him point blank about my chances for being able to run 26.2 miles in April and he didn’t say no; he said that I would know soon enough. He did step up the treatment plan a bit. I am now taking some anti-inflammatory meds and will begin physical therapy ASAP.
Doctor Explaining What is Wrong with My Knee
I am going to check Amazon to see if there is an “Orthopedics for Dummies” volume. One of the treatments prescribed is VMO ( Vastus Medialis Obliquus) / Patella mechanics; I think that’s the technical term for stretching my legs properly. Other treatments include Myofascial massage, Electrical Stimulation, Ultrasound and Ionto/Phonophoresis, not to mention Strengthening and Stretching. I feel better already!
February 24, 2010
I was walking around the other day and for the first time in a long time, did not notice that my knee was hurting. I had given the 52 year old joint some time off but figured it was time to get back on the road, the race is getting frighteningly close. The knee felt good for about 10, maybe 20 steps. One block later I turned around returned home. I did manage and 1 ½ hours on the elliptical with no pain but running is not yet working. I go to the orthopedic surgeon soon.
As I told my neighbor Mark Steadman while limping home, “if I can just get the knee to cooperate, I am sure I can cross the finish line. It won’t be pretty but then it never has been”.
February 12, 2010
This winter my family went on a Make a Wish trip to Orlando Florida:
even the curbside pickup was special!
Alexander’s big wish? To get SLIMED at Nick Studios!
We got to meet some Superheros
We visited Universal Studios and Epcot Center
We met Shamu and fed dolphins
I can’t say enough about the Make-a-Wish Foundation. They arranged everything and we were afforded special treatment. Give Kids the World excellent organization which helped grant Alexander’s Orlando wish. We will forever have wonderful family memories because of this trip. Check out the Flickr Page for more photos of my Family.