Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lynn Woods

went to Lynn Woods last night for the first time with a couple of my former Ipswich runners, Alex and Kieran.

we accidentally parked at the wrong entrance to the woods, which was about 2 miles on trails we didn't know from the start. Got there at about 5:50 for the race which started at 6:30. We decided to take the opportunity to warm up and arrived at the start by 6:15. Passed CMS 'mate Shairs doing his warmup when we got close.

Alex and Kieran opted for the shorter (2.3 mi.) and I joined the longer (4.3 - undercliff). We were issued our complimentary lifetime numbers and we were off.

Joe was still admittedly a little beat up from the hard effort at Bobby Doyle on Sunday, so he let the leaders go. 'Mate Matt Veiga and a couple young guys were at the front as we tried to follow the orange streamers and white arrows the right way in the early going. Did some climbing in the first mile, which passed in 7:10 according to the Garmin watch. It felt relaxed and I was anticipating staying in contact with the guys around me if they were all willing to go faster. The second mile we did (I had 6:06 on the watch) and I was working hard to stay with the third place runner. I occasionally caught a glimpse of Matt and the number two runner.

We ran right by the parking lot where I had left my car (Pennybrook) at 2.2 and took a sharp right for the return. There were several significant stretches of fairly technical trail, lot of rocks, mostly single track and I was hard-pressed to maintain any type of contact with the leaders and eventually lost touch. My third mile was a 7:20, fourth was a 7:08 and the last .3 was basically 6-flat back on the main road.

I wasn't sure what to expect heading into this. I anticipated being a lot faster, but I had no idea how challenging the terrain was. So now I'm realizing I'm not in great "Lynn Woods" shape but want to continue to run every day and see what that translates to at the relay next week and at some more races this summer and fall.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Encouragement comes when you least expect it

sometimes, anyway.

I had just gotten done reading Kevin Beck's blog about not taking doctors' advice for PT, rehab, injury treatment and I decided to ask google if you (or I) can continue to run on a torn meniscus. I got into a letsrun thread, where I came across these gems:

"I'm a doctor (not in sports Med though) with over thirty years of running behind me. I've had almost every running injury but every time I get something more than a minor niggle, I post on here and I often get better insight than I do from seeing the actual specialists."

Read more:

and that set me up for this one:

"I've been running on one (torn meniscus) for about 5 years now. I found out as long as I ran everyday, the swelling stays minimal and I don't have any problem. When I would take a day or 2 off, my knee would get puffy and it was irritating to run though not really painful. It has never gotten worse and I would imagine it was from a fall on the trail but I couldn't pinpoint when it happened.

Read more:

Maybe basing my decision to train on something that I read on a letsrun thread is risky, but it also confirms my suspicion that some running every day is almost (and the almost is getting smaller) always better than not running.

We'll see how far this momentum carries me, but here's hoping I can successfully grind away whatever cartilage is in the way and keep my left knee bending under my moving body weight for a little while longer!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

mid-August update

Well, it's been my most productive week running in some time, with a six-day streak going. I even got to enjoy a progression-run with a couple of my former Ipswich athletes on Tuesday evening and felt pretty good approaching 6:00/mi. for a few miles.

Running with a torn meniscus is going to be a test, though. It seems like whenever I earnestly  try to return to regular running, the daily inflammation gets worse. I suppose cutting out IPA's and cinnamon rolls might help with reducing inflammation, but I haven't really changed my eating habits much from the days when I was running a lot more than I am now.

I was told that the tear I have is "inoperable" and I've been encouraged to get a second opinion about that, but the more I read about meniscus tears, the more it seems like you just have to take what you can get from them. Sometimes surgery is effective, sometimes not. Sometimes they hurt, sometimes they don't. I have to say that the daily ache now is much easier to abide than the locking and shooting pain that I was dealing with a few months ago when I wasn't running.

I guess the long-term prognosis for running on a torn meniscus isn't great, but I'm not sure the long-term prognosis for any runner is all that promising. We all get slower as we age, our bodies break down, we return to dust.  And now, I think I'll eat this cinnamon roll and figure out what I can handle on the roads later today.