Sunday, February 27, 2011

Running Again & the Ice Age Trail 50

Oh it's so on.  

I'm running again, and this week has been fantastic!  Two runs of 3 and 4 miles on Tuesday, 10 miles on Thursday, 10 sub-zero epic ice beard miles Saturday (see below), and 10.5 slightly-warmer miles today.  37.5 miles this week, all with relatively no pain.  Bring on Zumbro!

We'll see if it's humanly possible to finish a hundred mile race with 6 weeks of prep, including taper, but I'm going to at least start the darn thing and see how far I get.   

Oh, and my brother and I also grabbed two of the last spots in the Ice Age Trail 50 Mile race on May 14, which Zach Gingerich won last year in 6:23:53!  Zach is signed up again this year, as well as Tim Long!  Those two guys are my predicted top finishers, and I can't wait to meet them.

Also stumbled upon a fellow aspiring ultra-runner in my neighborhood by looking at Garmin Connect runs from Minneapolis named Jordan Hanlon.  Hopefully I'll get to run with him sometime.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Screwed up Race Dates, Physical Therapy, and I'm running again!

So I messed up the date of the Superior Trail 50k in May.  I estimated, based on last years date, that the race would be on May 14, when in reality it's scheduled for May 21, which conflicts with Fargo.  Oh well.  Next year.  I also had the date for the Minnesota Voyager Trail 50 Mile Run as July 23, instead of the correct date of July 30, and just heard grumblings of a Half Voyager on July 16.  A slightly revised race schedule is printed below.

I started physical therapy last week, and am learning a ton about my running mechanics.  The good news is that I ran a quick 3 miles this morning, essentially pain free!  That may sound like peanuts, but for me, that's a really, really big deal!

This was my first run without pain since before the Disney Half and Full in January, and really, since before early December.  Things might be heading back on track, which is great, because Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, or "Runner's Knee," at least for me, has been a bitch!

At Physical Therapy (PT), a treadmill and a video camera showed that my hips are dropping, my knees are buckling in a bit, and that my right ankle is pronating something fierce.  I'm convinced this goes all the way back to a little foot injury in October that I ran through instead of resting, which eventually altered the stride enough to kill the left knee in November, which was bad enough to then kill the right knee in January.  Maybe there is something to that whole butterfly effect theory after all!

Through it all, though, I've learned some very interesting tips on Correcting Overpronation from TriFuel.com,
"Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Make sure your weight is evenly distributed through the three main points of contact between your feet and the floor (heel, joint of the big toe, joint of the little toe,i.e. first and fifth metatarsal). Once you're in a proper Mountain Pose (and if you don't know how to do this, shame on you! go to yoga!), lift your toes. You should feel your arches lift. Now lower your toes, but don't let your arches fall. If you're like me, you'll feel the muscles in your lower legs engage, and just standing like that will tax your soleus muscles. At this point, you should feel like the muscles underneath the plantar fascia on your feet are engaged, the weight is evenly distributed between the three points of the foot, and you have three natural arches (connecting the three points of contact between your feet and the ground) forming a triangle on each of your feet."
And a Matt Carpenter article from Runner's World entitled "Stride Right" had some fantastic injury-specific tips for correcting runner's knee, including:
"Actively engage the muscles of the buttock and the outside of the hip while your foot is in contact with the ground."
"Push off with your big toe. Concentrate on keeping your knees pointing straight ahead during ground contact."
So the 2011 Wish List changed a little, but is currently as follows: