Bharath complains that I’ve become a unidimensional personality lately, since I began training. That’s probably true. I’ve become a bit monochromatic in the sense that no matter what the topic of conversation is, I seem to veer back to running or something related to running. I wonder how I must be boring some people to death. Certainly my husband. The other day I was talking to my mom on the phone, and she is usually pretty loquacious and hard-to-hang-up-on (gotta say Bye Mom several times before she actually hears it). She asked me a general question about when I run and I responded with my long winded explanation of the weekly schedule. She listened and then said goodbye quickly and hung up. One must be pretty boring to bore one’s mom.
I hope the blog’s not as boring. I know it’s a lot of lazy writing – I often don’t correct for grammar errors and such, but that’s because that’s how I think – yes, I think in poor english. So today I’m going to attempt to write a better-written post. Too many interesting but poorly written blog posts out there.
Before I get to training news, I must talk about my visit to Dr. Spears’ office. Dr. Spears is an Austin orthopedic surgeon who works at Sports Performance International and came highly recommended on the web by runners. He’s a runner himself so he was less likely to recommend stopping training. The reason I was visiting Dr. Spears is on account of the husband’s inherent distrust of alternate medicine, which includes chiropractors, homeopaths etc. Now I usually trust Bharath implicitly when it comes to most big decisions such as health, though he may disagree to that. Plus I didn’t think the Advance Rehab chiropractor at Rogue was providing me with any long-term solutions to my Achilles heel problem. I made the appointment with Dr. Spears 2 weeks ago because its pretty hard to get hold of him.
He was fantastic. He looked at my left foot, which has the tell-tale signs of a nasty injury I’d sustained when I was 15. (I was out gallavanting with a guy on a bike when the bike toppled over with my left foot under it – needless to say I was grounded, with cast et al for a long time). He asked if I’d injured the tendon and I said I didn’t know. He then asked if I’d been in a cast for more than 3 weeks and I said yes, it was probably close to 6 weeks. He then asked his assistant to note that I’d probably had lacerations to the Achilles tendon and also said he wasn’t surprised that it was weak – particularly because the attending orthopedic hadn’t recommended physiotherapy 15 years ago. He recommended that I come in for PT for 4 weeks and he’d then re-assess the leg strength. He also asked me to modify the training – running fast, with long strides on the hill would NOT be good. He said instead, if you must do hill training, run backwards up the hill. And to my relief he said, because the pain comes after activity, it implies that the injury isn’t that serious yet. He was glad I came in at the right time.
But last night’s training was hill training. I wrote ahead to Coach about Dr. S’s diagnosis and recommendation. She said no worries. The Quality Workout was fartleks. They sound like some sort of gastrointestinal (GI) distress but they’re actually a Swedish name for hi-low intensity interval workout. I was late to Rogue and the group had already begun the 1.75 mile warm-up to Travis Hts. But one of the coaches was kind enough to give me a ride to where the runners reached and he dropped me off with Maryanne and Carlene. When I reached the starting point, everyone else was going to do 1-1 hi-low interval running i.e. running fast and then easy pace for a minute each for about a mile. She asked me not to do that (so I got to skip the fartlek!). Instead, she asked me to run the mile -which was a rolling up-down loop around the neighborhood) at HMGP or slightly easier. I ran with Jairam, another SoH runner, and in conversation, the run was pretty easy. I have to say my lung capacity has increased 3-fold and despite the weak tendon/calf, both legs have strengthened immensely – I can tell by the amount of effort that I now exert to do the same exercise that I’d be struggling through weeks ago.
After I finished my mile loop, I didn’t continue on the fartlek anymore. Instead, Coach had me run down this pretty steep hill and run up back-wards with longish strides. That would help using, flexing and strengthening the calves but oddly, I felt it everywhere including the hamstrings. It was hard running uphill backwards! Somehow I think the fartlek might have been better :). Back at Rogue I did the stretches but my foot was hurting and I was glad for the PT session I’m scheduled for today. I’ll write about the session on a different post as this one’s gotten too long!
I’ve also signed up for the Turkey Trot in downtown this weekend! Running with a couple more SoH runners on an easy 5 mile loop in downtown. Sounds like fun!