Archive for the ‘Injury’ Category

Bummer

July 18, 2011

My slow but sure mileage build-up in recent weeks made me think that a mid-August target date for my return to full training was well-within reach.  I forgot that sometimes, shit happens.

In the past three weeks, my weekly mileage was consistently in the mid to high 20’s.  In fact, last week, I surely would have hit around 35km if not for a short bout with the flu.  I was hoping to get my mileage up to the 40’s by mid-August so that I could embark on a 10-week HM program, just in time for this year’s edition of the KOTR.  The 10k at the KOTR is likewise an option, that is, if I am unable to rack up serious mileage.  After all, it’s about time that I got that sub-Piolo out of the way.  At any rate, the plan was to get in a good enough condition to be able to run a decent race at the KOTR.

 I had a good start to the week, actually.  After running a good aerobic 10k run on Sunday, I went for a 30-min. bike ride on Monday, followed by an easy 7k run at Ayala Triangle on Tuesday.  I was going to run again on Wednesday but my buddies came calling so I decided to pay homeage to St. Michael instead.  🙂 

I woke up Thursday morning with a sore throat.  I also felt that I was coming down with the flu so I called in sick.  Had to cancel my run that day, too.  I was supposed to run Friday evening but decided to cancel last minute as I wanted my legs to be fresh the following morning for my basketball game.  It was the second season of the Den Daniel Reyes Cup and my team, the SF Baconators (so named due to our fraternity’s ties to the great Sir Francis Bacon), was bent on improving on our 4th place finish last year.

This group pic was taken a few moments before I got injured.

*Photo credit:  Archie Gonzales

I joined the proceedings a few minutes into the first quarter as I arrived late and had to suit up and warm-up a little.  Less than a minute inside the court, I found myself sprawled on the floor, holding on to my left ankle.  I knew something was wrong when I heard a snapping sound as my ankle buckled under my weight, which was quickly followed by what seemed like a gazillion volts of electricty shooting up my spine all the way to my cerebral cortex.  More than a quarter of a century’s experience of playing organized basketball told me that I had to call it a day.

It was a freak accident, really.  I have emerged unscathed from far more serious situations like this one (from last season’s tournament) for example:

      *Photo credit:  Ceazar Ryan Aquino

How and why it happened remains a mystery to me.  All I could remember was that I was scrambling for a loose ball then, pow! – I just twisted my ankle on my own.  I did not step on anyone’s foot or was otherwise thrown off-balance when it happened.  No contact from any opposing player either.  It was Murphy’s Law personified – by my own clumsiness. 

For the meantime, I’d rather not think about the ramifications of this, my latest injury.  It’s a long season anyway and still quite some months off from the KOTR.  However, I can’t help but reflect on recent events, more particularly, my seemingly frequent run-ins with injury.  All I can say is, shit really happens.  At least, this time around, it didn’t hit the fan.

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My First DNS

March 26, 2011

Normally I would try to hit the sack early the Saturday before a race day.  But not tonight.  Tomorrow will be my first DNS, my first no-show at a road race. 

In my previous post, I mentioned that I will be going all in for my attempt at a PR-setting half marathon.  Well, I indeed went all in but got wiped out.  

When the early signs of ITBS came out after my Sunday long run on March 13, my kuya slash coach slash running guru advised me to take it easy henceforth.  In fact, he told me to ditch my program and just run every other day.  And all these runs should be E-Pace runs.  So after that fateful Sunday, my next run was an easy 5.4k the following Tuesday.  Since I was to run only every other day, I skipped Wednesday then ran again on Thursday.  Unfortunately, when I got to the track, I just couldn’t help doing my usual mile intervals.  I know, very low EQ of me.  I did my usual 2k warm-up followed by some religious stretching then off I went.  I felt great during my first set.  In fact, I was averaging 5-7 seconds faster per lap.  That’s huge in terms of speed workouts – that meant that my mile intervals were about 20 seconds faster than usual.  I wasn’t even pushing myself much.  The second set was more or less the same, although I found it difficult to maintain the pace on my last lap.  At that point, I had forgotten about my ITBS and was more worried about not finishing my workout due to fatigue.  After my 800m jog recovery, I went for my third set.  However, less than 200m into my first lap, I felt some pain in my right knee.  I decided to stop right away to prevent further damage.  After jogging for another 800m pain-free, I did some extensive stretching.  I thought the problem had been contained.

I took the following Friday off and decided to run an easy 10k on Saturday.   When I got to the track, I ran at a leisurely pace to warm-up my muscles. But alas, I was able to run only 130m.  I felt some sharp pain in my right knee that simply stopped me in my tracks (no pun intended).  I decided to walk for 2 laps and do some stretching before going at it again.  Unfortunately, the same thing happened.  In fact, my second attempt didn’t even last 100m.  I knew that there was something terribly wrong.  I decided to rest for a while, hoping that by some miracle, the pain would go away on my next attempt.  However, it was not to be.  I made seven attempts in all that night, to no avail.  I even tried all the possible combinations – I tried jogging, running at moderate pace and even at inteval pace.  Nothing worked.  Everytime, I would feel debilitating pain in my right knee just a few seconds into my run.  I knew that it was time to throw in the towel.

The following day, I decided to pay a visit to a sports injury clinic in SM Megamall, which I found courtesy of my bud Julius Cervantes of Life is a Highway fame.  The doctor I consulted confirmed my worst fears.  I had to take a break from running.  Surprisingly, I didn’t take the news that badly.  After all, running is not my life.  Heck, I’m just a recreational runner who gets a kick out of setting PRs.  But I will definitely miss the training, most especially the high that I get from pushing myself to the limit – those MSS (masuka-suka) moments after every hard workout.  And one thing’s for sure.  I’ll be back.  Stronger.

Good luck to everyone running the Globe R4H tomorrow.   In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my beer.

Precarious Run-Up to Globe R4H

March 16, 2011

Just last week, I was brimming with confidence and couldn’t wait to take on the Globe R4H half-mary.   After all, my recent training runs indicated that a new 21.1k PR was just around the corner.  I had four good workouts last week, beginning with my 21.1km long run on March 6 and culminating in an easy 5.4km with 6×200 hills on March 10.  

I did my Sunday long run at the track (I know, 52 and 3/4 laps in all!) in 1:54:37, which, technically, is my new HM PR.  It’s not so much that I set a PR in that run that got me excited; it’s the fact that I wasn’t meaning to that tickled me pink.  In fact, I ran it at E-pace, save for the last 5k, which I tried to run at my target HM race pace.  I was able to run only 8 laps of that final 5k at 2:00 ave. per lap (5:00 mpk).  However, my 9th and 10th laps were 2:04 and 2:07 respectively, so I decided to just treat the remaining kilometer and change as my cool down.   My average heartrate for the entire run was only 156, which was well-within my aerobic zone. 

I also had a good speed workout that week.  It was an 8k tempo, which I ran at 4:48 mpk.  As a matter of fact, if I were to include my 2k warm-up, my 10k split time would be 49:59, a sub-50 10k on a training run!  Not bad for a 37 year old litigator.  🙂  In fact, after that tempo run, I promised myself that my next race after Globe R4H would be a 10k, to see if I could break the 47-minute barrier.  My rather promising training week was well-documented in Daily Mile:  

Then, some cause for concern.  Last March 13, I decided to do my Sunday long run at BHS.  I was supposed to run 22km, but I was able to finish only 14.9km.  My legs felt very heavy, which I attributed to muscle fatigue.  I thought that i had yet to recover from my Thursday tempo run and my Friday hills training.  There was also the matter of the slight discomfort that I felt in my right knee.  I was kicking myself for doing two quality workouts on consecutive days.  Not too smart. 

Little did I know that muscle faitgue would be the least of my concerns.  By Sunday evening, that slight discomfort in my knee morphed into pain.  In fact, in a matter of hours after my run, I was walking with a noticeable limp.  I researched the symptoms online and came to the conclusion that I had ITBS.  All of a sudden, the following words of advice from my kuya slash coach slash running guru proved prophetic:

“No question your fitness level is improving.  Just don’t overdo things.  3 weeks to go, there’s not much else you can do to substantially increase your fitness level.  There’s a lot you can do to wreck it.  At this point I think it’s prudent to consolidate your gains and just continue doing what you’ve been doing.  Make sure you’re allowing yourself some quality rest (recovery) time, too.”

I was still walking with a limp on Monday, but on Tuesday morning, I was happy to see that the pain had subsided.  It had to take a lot of EQ on my part to fight the urge to run that day.   However, I am determined to take my kuya slash coach slash running guru’s advice to heart and just consolidate my gains and not try anything stupid in the following days. 

This morning, after 2 days’ complete rest, I ran an easy 5.4k.  I felt some discomfort in my right knee a few hundred meters into my run.  Fortunately, it went away shortly thereafter.  While I was supposed to do an easy 10k, I decided to do a time-based easy run of 30 mins. so as not to punish my knees too much. 

I felt fine after the run, but now, my ITB feels stiff.  There’s just so much I could do to treat my ITBS without sacrificing my fitness.  I’ve been dealt a bad card and now, the chips are definitely stacked against me. I have no choice but to go “all in” on this one.  Que sera, sera.