Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Training Wheels Are Off

I have completed 5 runs since leaving Dr. Ball in sunny Arizona, and all have been pain free.  Up until a week ago, I was still running with discomfort and some part of my brain hasn't really wanted to let go of that memory.  When I was running in Arizona, I had an appointment with Dr. Ball each day and knew that he would take care of anything that hurt.  I told Brooke that we had our training wheels on while we were there.

The training wheels are now off and I haven't fallen down yet.  However, my brain is in a state of high alert for any signs of pain and tightness.  I don't have that daily appointment any more to rely on, but I really don't need it.  Dr. Ball got me to a healthy state, and I need to do the maintenance work from here on out.  The maintenance work involves no stretching aside from an exercise designed to mobilize my hip capsule, though I believe the Good Doctor would not count that as a stretch per se.  Dr. Ball is anti-stretch.  My maintenance work does require a lot of rolling with a lacrosse ball and the grid foam roller.  He and his staff were diligent about showing me the right way to use these tools and what parts to use them on.  While I had been rolling regularly, I wasn't rolling the right parts regularly.  It's really easy to see why my hamstrings got so messed up over the years, since I was rolling every major leg muscle group EXCEPT them.  When I asked how often to roll, he asked me, "how many days a week will you be running?"

When it was time for me to leave Arizona, Dr. Ball mentioned that he still wasn't satisfied with the range of motion in my left hip.  He hypothesized that there might be something mechanically wrong with it.  He explained that this was probably something that I've had most of my life, perhaps as a result of my parachuting accident at Army Airborne.  He emphasized that it didn't really matter.  My treatment would be exactly the same.  It was just something I had to live with, which means being extra vigilant about keeping the hip capsule mobile.  I am going in Tuesday to see a sports medicine doc at Kaiser to see about this issue, if for no other reason than to establish a baseline for whatever it may be.

Now, for the fun stuff.

I ran 59.5 miles this week, completely pain free and did two workouts.  One workout was a Squires-style tempo run on Thursday where I ran 9 total with 4 miles at 6:30 pace.  His "tempo runs" during the build up (alpha) phase of the program are run 50 seconds slower than 5k pace.  So, I might have been pushing it a bit, but it felt good.  I ran 14 miles today with pick ups like last weekend's long run (1,1,1,2,1,1,1,2 minutes with a return to long run pace in between).  This is the longest run I have done since October, and it felt awesome.  I feel confident enough to continue on with my plan to build up for a marathon in July, though the military hasn't announced who's on the team yet for the World Military Championships in Rio de Janeiro.  Regardless, I wrote my training plan based off of Squires' 5k program to gear up for the World Masters' Championships here in Sacramento in July.  I added in longer runs on the weekends to help prepare me for the marathon, if that opportunity materializes.  Either way, I have a target race in July to shoot for.  Here's what my training plan looks like for the 4 weeks including this week.      


  1. That's really interesting regarding the anti-stretching - makes perfect sense when you read that page.

    I take it it's a choice between the marathon and Masters' Champs in July? Anyway, looks a good plan to get you ready for either competition.

  2. It does make sense, doesn't it? It also explains why adding in stretching for me exacerbated my problem.

    While there really wasn't a choice to be made, I will only be running the WMA 5k this summer. The Rio gig didn't materialize. This actually took a lot of pressure off of me and how I would train for that anyway. I can't get into 5k shape by July, so that race will be a warm up for another later in the summer where I'll be shooting to get a big PR. I'll be revealing my training plan for the next 6+ months in my next post!