Sunday 10 March 2013

Mar 10/13 - A Train Wreck of a Training Week.

   So I promised to be open and honest about my training on here and this week is a tough one for me to swallow. I'm trying to get used to failure in this sport and it's not something I do well. At the same time I'm no stranger to hard work or overcoming adversity. This week had plenty of both. After such a personal victory last week in the Chilly half marathon I was feeling invincible. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The finished wine cellar
   Monday I was very, very sore from the race and had a long day at work. I spent the day going up and down stairs to build a custom wine cellar. As any runner will testify to - can I get a witness here? - going down a set of stairs after a hard run is agony. Needless to say that day was a write off for training.

   Tuesday came and I realized my new cell phone was a total heap of *@#$. It was dropping text messages like a juggler with Parkinsons disease. In the words of Neil Young, "I tried to plug it in, I tried to turn it on, when I got it home it was a piece of crap!" So after another tough day at work I skipped my night in the gym to return and upgrade my phone. Now completely content with my new LG Nexus 4 laptop, errr cellphone. Well it's awesome, but its the size of a small flat screen tv. I thought technology was supposed to get smaller?

   Wednesday I woke to discover I had something horribly awry in my back, shoulder blade region. As best as I can tell now it was some sort of pinched nerve. Whatever it was by days end it was on my last nerve and I wanted to die. Especially now that my beloved Ibuprofen is forbidden to me due to the gastritis I have been working so diligently to heal. I came home hunched over like a question mark and had no hope of running. Also this day I noticed that my right calf was still sore from Chilly. I had really pushed myself in that race and felt something "pop" in my right calf around the 13km mark. I was able to continue running and it was only what I would perceive as usual soreness the next day so I thought nothing of it. Now halfway through the week the thought that I may be injured was creeping quietly into the back of my mind.

   Thursday and it was still very painful to take deep breaths. Every time my rib cage expanded with air or I had to turn my head a burst of white hot pain shot through my back like a prison shank. Now I was getting stressed. After some internet research - not the wisest idea - I was convinced I had gall stones, liver cancer and was probably simultaneously having a heart attack. Did I mention I can be a hypochondriac at times? Another long day at work and I had decided this week was a total washout and gave up hopes of training. I went to bed that night smothered in guilt from a missed week.

   Friday and things were looking up. First TCIF! - thank calendar it's Friday (I'm not religious) and second I could breath somewhat pain free. The cancer seemed to be receding and I had survived the heart attack. Long day number 5, not to be confused with Mambo Number 5 and I was home to recuperate for Saturday.

   Saturday and it was long run day. 26km on the docket and with Around the Bay 30km race only 2 weekends away I needed to get back up to distance. It was 6C outside and sunny, the first nice day of the year. What could go wrong? Ask that question and you'll usually get the answer. As I took off into my run I found my legs felt like lead and my heart rate was soaring. I had the sensation that I weighed 500lbs and was landing every step with twice that force. I felt like... what's the phrase I'm looking for here? Ah yes, a flaming bag of shit. I was sure this was because of the week off so I pushed on. I made it to the 5km point and was slowly starting to loosen up when it happened. "Pop". My right calf again. Fuck I thought, I'm injured. My leg began to buckle and I had to stop. I tried stretching it for a few minutes. I started running again. I could push through the pain and it began to numb out. I kept running. Around the 9km mark the side of my left knee began to burn. Great, I knew immediately what that was as I had dealt with it before. Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome. No it's not the new heavy metal band all your friends have been talking about, it's an inflammation of the band of stabilizing tissue extending from the outside of the hip to the knee. This combined with the returning calf pain was too much. I called the run off. Only problem, I was still 5km from home and Chris was somewhere 30km away training on her road bike. I had no choice but to continue running, limping, walking, repeat until I made it home. The future of my ATB race is certainly not looking bright enough to wear shades.

   Sunday morning and I could walk on my leg again at least. Still sore, but I can at least push off my toes a little. 11C outside and sunny so I had to get out. Chris and I layered up and got out for a 30km ride on our road bikes. It wasn't a hard paced ride as both of us were still dead from the day before, but at least it was some cross training for me while I try to heal my legs. 14 day countdown to ATB. Still 2 weeks to ice, massage and stretch to optimize my chances of healing and going the distance. Fingers crossed.


  1. Ugh, good luck with healing. I hope you're all set for ATB! And "dropping text messages like a juggler with Parkinsons disease".....HAHAHAHA!

  2. Shit that sounds like a painful week! My best advice is to rest, ice and stretch. As you are 2 weeks out the "hay is in the barn" as they say.