Sunday, July 12, 2009


It's a mild form of silliness, I suppose, but this blog has at various points in the past been turned into "geeky statistics about my slow-ass running" (don't you shift that hyphen). That association must have wormed itself into my brain because the lack of posts over the last year or so has corresponded to a lack of any significant progress in running. Now, I finally have something I think deserves a post, geeky statistics notwithstanding.

So what's happened? A bunch of things, most of which I won't describe right now both because it's too mundane and I want this post to be just as running-focused and geeky as my earlier posts. I'm nothing if not boring. No, consistent. No actually, boring.

Around October last year (at a Halloween party actually), I got pwned by a single solitary step. Walked off a porch in the dark and next thing I know my left ankle was all bent out of shape. Next morning it did a very good impression of a sprained ankle, swelling up like one of those dinosaur-in-a-capsule toys and displaying all sorts of dark and interesting colors.

I seem to run into an injury every time I try to train for a marathon. A decade back it was falling off a bicycle. Then it was ITBS from over-training. Then it was ITBSv2 (socially networked!). Then the aforementioned sprain. I keep on thinking some punk deity or spirit somewhere is getting its kicks off giving me obvious signs. Puck, perhaps, not punk. Bastard.

Because I keep injuring myself, I try to learn. Slowly. Regretfully.

The biggest lesson has been in experimenting with changing my stride/gait to adjust to and compensate for my natural biomechanical dispositions. What I'm increasingly settling on is a slightly smaller stride so that I'm not banging down on my heel, destroying any chances my calves might have of cushioning the repetitie pavement pounding. I also "sit" a little bit lower depending on my legs and my energy level, allowing for additional cushioning by using more quads. This can require more effort over all but it gets me away from just planting my foot down and letting something other than my muscles stabilize myself (read: too much strain on the ITB). Still learning, but getting better.

I'm starting to have more successful bargaining with my body. I used to love the last 5% of effort, speeding up at the end of a long run, going an extra mile or 2, throwing lots of hills without changing the speed, etc. Problem was, that last 5% often ended up being 100-105% of what my body was willing to tolerate without injury. No more! Now I keep things at 90% so the 5% doesn't kill me. And another 5% for safety margin. In return, my body is willing to stay at 90% for a lot longer. It' s a fair deal.

The current goal is to just finish another damn marathon. But since I'm giving myself quite a bit of lead time this time around (for both base building and the specific training schedule), I'm shooting for sub 4:00. 3:59:59 will do. I'll also take all the help I can get and so to that end am aiming for the Cal Int'l Marathon in December. Very fast course. Bonus: if I do hit asub 4:00, I can tell people I improved more than 40 minutes between my first and second marathon.

Mini Milestone
After another minor ankle twist and about a 2 week rest period, I'm back! The fabled and momentous events that precipitated the revival of this blog were:
  • First double digit run again (Had been doing 9s up until now)
  • First consistent 30 mile week
  • 4 months of training already, which is longer than what used to be my entire Marathon training schedule
That's it. I told you I wanted to keep this blog fairly boring right?

1 comment:

Brandon Fuller said...

Run, boy, run.