Under (Sinus) Pressure

Challenges, Injury, Running 2 Comments »

It’s been over a week since my last post. I haven’t been too lazy nor has life been uneventful in the world of running. To the contrary, I’ve been extremely busy. Usually I battle hills and fatigue, but this week I was in a fierce battle against my sinuses and a touch of the flu. Though my illness got a few good licks in, I do believe I’ve emerged victorious. Unfortunately, I missed the best weekend for running, as well as missing my own personal goal of reaching my 100-mile mark. It was sunny and in the 70s this past weekend and I was lying in bed with an achy body, sore throat and headaches like you couldn’t believe.

I’ve felt pretty good the past couple of days, but I won’t venture out for a run until Friday or Saturday. Because I got sick so late in my training for the Germantown Half Marathon, which is March 16th, I’ve had to alter my mental focus for that race. Before, I was really gunning to beat my St. Jude time, but now I’m going to shoot to finish. I’ve gotten up to nine miles in my training, so I’m pretty confident that I can finish without a bunch of problems, but I’m not anticipating beating any personal records.

Congrats to Derek for his awesome performances in the challenges.

Fighting My Way Back

Injury, Running 4 Comments »

As previously posted, I’ve taken the past week off due to shin splints. During my hiatus, I noticed my mind and body were going through withdrawals because I wasn’t running. I was more irritable and not sleeping very well. I was going to run after work yesterday, but unfortunately I got home to find that ALL of my workout pants were in the wash. I was extremely disappointed because I was looking forward to my run.

So today, with fresh, clean clothes, I laced up my shoes, hit my power song, and was off for the four-mile comeback. For the first mile or so, I felt really good - my troublesome shin wasn’t causing me any problems. By mile two, I was feeling the effects of not having run for a week - fatigue and tight thigh muscles, as well as it being drizzly, cold, and desolate down at Tom Lee Park. Honestly though, what could I expect? I had basically returned to zero and was now fighting my way back to where I was prior to the injury. I kept thinking to myself as I approached the final 400 meters, how sweet victory would be and to have finished my run. Though I was extremely tired, I knew this was the run that was going to set things right.

Technique Tips

Injury, Running, Tips Add a Comment »

Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running, a revolutionary book that focuses on running technique to not only heal and prevent injuries, but also to help you run faster, has started to syndicate some extremely useful tips on Amazon.com. Here’s a couple of tips that Danny has already offered:

Running Form
“The longer the distance you run, the more amount of time you’ll need to spend landing on your midfoot instead of your forefoot (as sprinters do). If you spend too much time up on your toes, the small muscles of your legs will become overworked and/or over trained and you could end up being a candidate for some form of overuse injury of the lower leg (shin splints, calf pulls, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and even metatarsal fractures).”
Danny Dreyer, Chi Running.

Another useful tip from Danny:

Whether to breathe through the nose or mouth
“As for breathing, it is best to work your way towards breathing through your nose as it gets the air deeper into your lungs than mouth breathing. Nose-breathing also stimulates nerve endings in your head as the air passes through the sinus passages, which help to relax the brain. In the winter it pre-heats and filters the air going into your lungs. Practice nose breathing for short periods at slower speeds and you’ll gradually be able to nose breathe at the faster speeds. I can run at a 7:30 pace comfortably with my mouth closed at this point and it’s very relaxing.”
Danny Dreyer, Chi Running.

Watching from the Sidelines

Injury, Running 4 Comments »

It’s a fact that if you participate in a sport long enough you’re going to get injured. Well, I’ve reached that point. Last Sunday’s run was AWESOME, as previously posted. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that Herculian feeling for Wednesday’s four-miler. Granted, my time and pace where almost perfect, except for a small amount of walking due to sharp pain in my left shin. That’s right runners, I have a shin splint.

Shin splints are a condition that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the front part of the lower leg (shin). The pain is most likely from repeated stress on the shin bone (tibia) and the tissue that connects the muscle to the tibia. They are common in people who run or jog. Activities where you run or jump on hard surfaces, such as basketball or tennis, can also lead to this painful condition. - WebMD

The treatment for this ailment isn’t more cow bell, but rest, stretching, and ice packs. Granted my leg might feel better and training can continue, but what about my mental pain - the longing to run by the river on Sundays or hearing my favorite quote “400 meters to go?” I guess I’ll just have to settle for reading my favorite blog, 400mToGo.

Though shin splints are pretty common for long-distance runners, it doesn’t give way for a lack of stretching, warm-up runs, and keeping training on pace. It’s an all too common pitfall of pushing ourselves too far too fast (which is what I think caused my injury). Remember to train hard, but train SMART so that you can enjoy those long Sunday runs.

How Was Your Trip?

Injury, Running Add a Comment »

How was your trip?

That is what should have been asked of me when I was sprawled out on someone’s lawn yesterday. Finally, I nice afternoon in Memphis and I was headed out for my 7 mile run. I got to mile 3 and I saw my friend Leigh driving down the road and I turned to wave to her. Then it happened…I hit a a break in sidewalk and took a dive. I cut the mess out of my hand and either sprained, jammed, or broke my middle finger and not to mention my bruised ego. Now after roughly two minutes or so staring up at the sky and wishing I could hope in my Delorean, hit 85MPH, and fix my idiot move I stood up and weighed my options. I was half a mile from the half way point of my room. So…should I cut the run short or do I push through the pain and finish what I set out to do. I opted to finish. So I hit my power song and finished the entire run. When it was all said and done was it worth it? Well it seemed to be worth it until I started typing this blog with one of my digits not working well. You would be surprised what you use your middle finger for besides flipping other people off.

Bruised Toenails - Who Knew?

Injury, Running, Tips 2 Comments »

I’ve recently noticed the toenail on my left big toe turning black. I had no idea what was going on and I was worried that I might be growing something nasty under there. This morning, while hanging out on the Runner+ Forum, I found out that I’ve got a simple case of a bruised toenail, also known as “Runner’s Toe” or “Black Toe.”

SpartanGirl started the conversation by asking about bruised toenails and what to do about them. Rasmus pointed us to Jeff Galloway’s post on black toe, what it is, and what you can do about it. Jeff explains it like this:

“If a toe is under pressure from the shoe or a sock that is too tight or too thick, the sustained pressure, step after step, produces an impact or a friction problem between the toenail and the tissue surrounding it. When the tissue gets damaged, fluid accumulates.”

Jeff goes on to say that it’s best to simply ignore the black toenail, as long as the pain is manageable. If it gets too bad, he offers some advice on how to relieve the pressure.

Thankfully, my case of black toe isn’t causing me too much pain at the moment. Now that I know what’s going on down there, it’s like a “black badge of courage.” If the problem persists, I can always pick up some of the Deluxe Gel Toe Caps that Rasmus recommends.