Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hernia recovery isn't a bad word...

Listen, I'm not the type to give in to pain, and there lies my problem. For a few years now during my physicals, my doctors (had a few) have reminded me of my ongoing hernia issue. My original doc said I had two, then it was reduced to one, so with that in my ultimate wisdom... I continued to run, and run and run.

Let's move forward a little, marathons, ultras, 100's later I now feel that it would be beneficial to do something about it. During many trail ultras I had lost confidence in my stride while pushing up steep terrain, rocky or otherwise...that really bothered me and affected my racing. So I made the dreaded appointment to get it done, finish me off doc, just do it.

For an avid runner like to me undergo surgery...any surgery, it's a really scary thing. My legs and their movement are a source of freedom for me; to have anyone mess around with that is just a crazy idea.

1. Surgery day - Nervous but committed now, I'm here in my backward gown, bare for the world to see and at the mercy of these professionals..... now see there, how I did that, these ARE professionals and we have nothing to worry about right.... In actuality the process and procedure are quite simple, an appointment, a quick change, and don't blink it over like that, but wait, they're acting like it's no big deal, I can't justify my concern with their professional attitudes!!! and lights out............................

I'm awake!!, I'm ALIVE.......and actually feeling pretty good!, nice and relaxed.

The rest of the day is simple, feel really good, bandaged up and light headed, kinda concerned that they didn't really do anything at all though!!...

2. The day after - I'm not sure they even cut me, I'm not feeling to bad... wait, there's something, yep I'm a little sore, after all, I was still laying in bed. I'm not going to take any pain medicine if I can help it today, so off I go then, and by mid-morning I was starting to feel the burn. In the afternoon I got a call from the surgery center for my standard check-up. It was here that I proclaimed that "I haven't even taken pain meds yet!" hoping for a proud voice and maybe a cheer from the other side.... crickets..... "Oh you'll need them, that's why you have them, it saves stress on yourself as you recover". psst...whatever.

By the end of the day I had cracked the bottle, she was right, definitely right.

3. Days 3 thru 5 - I will prevail and run again!, keep saying that cause it hurts to walk but you have to. Gotta keep the blood circulating for reasons beyond blood clots, start working on your standard range of motion. I felt as if my motion was going to be limited to my recovery, I felt that if I kept still that through healing I would loose some of that stride. And being that I've never been good at stretching my stride as is needed some I pushed myself to keep moving.

Disclaimer: that was me, you are - you guessed it (you)... move within your limits and don't strain your smart but be diligent, balance rest with activity.

4. Days 6 thru now (day 37) - If I can't run I'll bike - from day 6 I began biking to work 7 miles each way.... though this might not be recommended it was something that I felt I could do safely and I felt ready. Through walking and movement, biking and now running I am at 80%. I'll leave that 20% there in the back of my mind for awhile so I can fully recover, it'll give me a sliver of restraint. Overall my pain is negligible if even barely recognizable, and yeah,I began running a over a week ago (about 3 weeks into recovery).

Just be aware of your body, don't push your limits now, there will be plenty of time in the future for that, run slowly and focus on form and consistency. I noticed aches in other areas opposite of the hernia, be careful not to overcompensate. I you feel your compensating to much then slow down and recover more, the last thing you need is to blow a gasket somewhere else.

There will be pain but time is temporary, we can all get through this........Time to go for a run....I say 15 tonight....yum. Sept. 27,2012

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes you just need to slow down and wait for yourself to catch up.

I’m not sure when It happened, not exactly sure what it really is for that matter but at some undefined point on some trail or during some race I reached a milestone….or better yet…Call it a mid life running crisis. Right now I’m cancelling a running race that I’ve been waiting to run, I’m cutting back my scheduling for “meeting up” not because I don’t like the venue or the people I run with but it’s more of a defensive posture, a sort of reverse engineering of my running self to save what little I might have left of my past desire to run. A time long ago I’d get up every morning at some crazy time when only spiders and their dew covered webs would be on the trail…… my legs fresh and my mind clear just bursting with excitement to run.

I’ve always ran; at least as long as I can remember. I would run when ever my schedule would allow and when I ran I would run without much gear, no compression shorts, running watch, handhelds or packs….I ran without toe socks, just standard whities. With a dab of Vaseline I was gone, sometimes just taking off in any direction and running for an unknown amount of time, turn around and head back. At that time I would only run one race a year… the L.A. Marathon, but that was it. I also didn’t have as much responsibility as I do today; three children and a wife later, my bills and responsibilities are a marathon in themselves. And my gear; I’ve got drop bags full of gear, bottles, tubes, baggies, shoes, clothes … overload of stuff.

In the beginning I’d create a log of my running that I sometimes read to revisit for fun… and as I progressed to trail running I would always take my camera, stopping many times to take pictures of various interesting things along the way…

To the present…. and many marathons, 50ks, 50milers, 100 miler, Grand Canyon and Badwater experiences later I’m worn. I realized that I’m running to “run” and not “experience” anymore, I’m not getting up and looking forward to the experience because I view my running lately as a schedule to meet, trying to advance myself beyond my “last run or race” and not stopping to enjoy where I am but rather how fast I can run through it…..let’s face it when you advance past 40 your PR experiences dwindle leaving only the value of running in the “Experience” of the moments rather than pure performance.

So… I’ve decided my cure will be on multiple levels.
1. I’m going for deep muscle massages to wake my legs up
2. No schedules, no races, no long range plans, no commitments……..
3. Day on, day off with compression gear.. ( I feel looser, cool and free that way, my strides feel unrestricted bring me back to pre-injury mentality) it was after my hip flexor injury that I began using compression gear while running.
4. I’m running more consistently but closer to home, old stomping grounds, 5-8 miles daily with weekend runs of higher mileage. Running, walking and intentionally stopping to enjoy where I am…… note: clear your schedule before running long…don’t push your finish due to expectations or prior commitments.
5. Mentally rewinding, de-racing, de-stressing to find out why I loved to run in the first place….

It’s beginning to work, I can feel myself again and I’m looking forward to hitting the trails that earlier seems to have become drab and unexciting… Oh, one more thing for my list of remedies……

To just slow down so that I can just simply catch up to myself……….

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego 100 – Update 2 – We are not alone…

San Diego 100 – Update 2 – We are not alone…

I’ve officially secured a pacer for the SD100, I’m pretty pumped! Last years solo attempt didn’t work out to well so I needed someone with the intestinal fortitude to tell me off and get me back on the trail when I begin to mingle and waste time… Rachael Kadell is the lucky pacer and I’m confident that she will do nothing short of kick my A$$.

So I’m ready now, a slight taper next week, no hills, and that’s it.

I’ve decided to carry my Nathan pack but sans water, I will carry water bottles for both water and mix and that should be sufficient.

My training up till now has been fairly strong, I’ve put in some good mileage mixed with speed and hill work so we’ll just take it one stride at a time.

I plan on documenting this one with as much detail as I can pictures and all so when this tread finishes it will finish with my final SD100 summary. Cant wait. Just run.