One of the unfortunate byproducts of my ramped up marathon schedule is the return of the "pain in the butt". My left piriformis muscle and/or sciatic are acting up again in full force. This happened last year when I tried to ramp up to 6 day weeks and got a little better with 2 days off, lower mileage and visits to a chiropractor for adjustments and massages. Although it never completely went away it was greatly diminished in intensity. It felt the best in December on less than 100 miles that month. Having now run four complete 6 day weeks the pain is back and gets worse each week. The pain is most intense while seated, especially while driving. The computer chair at home is none too comfortable but I don't seem to notice the pain much at work although I spend a lot of time at my desk.
Friday I saw the chiropractor. Initially things felt quite good, but now 2 days later the pain is back. I am thankful that it doesn't really bother me while running, I'm sure it has to have an effect on stride and form and thus an effect on pace. While running surely increases the irritation, a complete back away from running is nearly an impossibility for me to mentally stomach. So, probably to my own detriment long term, I continue to run.
Saturday I got to do something both new and familiar. Familiar in that I finally met up with the CA Cruisers after having scheduling conflicts since the Saturday before Christmas. New in that we met at Tagge's Gym at the corner of Wabash and Prospect for a loop trail I hadn't been on before. The planned loop is a 3 mile trail around a new upscale neighborhood in the northern hills of Yorba Linda. One of the runners knew of a grove of Coastal Redwoods that had been planted in 1975 near there so we took a detour to see them. After the Redwoods the trail continues on and many of the plants are identified along the route. We ended up to my surprise at Carbon Canyon Park which is really a nice park but more importantly it is the back way into the wonderful trails of Chino Hills State Park. I ran a variety of paces that day as I would switch between the lead group and the trailing group to make sure I knew where to go and to keep them on track as well. The loop ended up measuring 6 miles. Because of the frequent stops and starts I messed up my watch and don't have an accurate time. Dr. John, Cathe and I continued south on Prospect and joined the equestrian trail system in Yorba Linda for some additional miles. I was looking to do 15. Dr. John and Cathe turned back after 3 miles. I continued on alone for another mile and a half and turned around as well. I missed a turn on the way back and ended up with 15.4 miles for the day. I was definitely having a struggle for the last couple of miles but I had stupidly forgotten my Fuel Belt on this run. My last couple of 13-15 milers I've consumed 28 ounces of fluids and today I had none. I drank a lot once I got back to the car and took some Ibuprofen at home and was able to fend off my usual dehydration headache.
Sunday I headed over to Bonelli and ran the loop along the west side of the park. It is trails for about 2.5 miles then roads back to the car. The schedule called for 4 miles. When I checked the mileage back at home I realized I was short at 3.6 miles. I thought my 32:58 time was awfully fast for a 4 mile trail run. At 3.6 miles the pace was 9:10 about what I would expect on that particular mix of trail and road. I felt pretty strong once I hit the road section and kept the pace on the high side for a nice finish to the week.
The extra wrong turn mileage from Saturday and the short course on Sunday evened themselves out quite nicely and I was able to reach my weekly goal of 40 miles. For next week, all the midweek runs increase to 6 miles so I will spend some time this evening mapping new routes from my house. My usual 6 mile routes are in Bonelli or at the Dam neither of which I can do after work until Daylight Savings Time kicks in, so the streets of my neighborhood will have to suffice for now. Next weeks day off is Friday again followed by two running days and then Monday off. I will be looking forward to that.
My wife is recovering fairly well. She was able to go to church this morning and then after an hour or so rest at home she felt strong enough to go out for lunch; Italian. Tyler is home for the weekend so both boys joined us as well. She's napping now. I will wake her for dinner in the next hour or so.
Total miles for the week: 40
M: 5 miles, 48:02
T: 5 miles with 4x400
W: 6 miles, Hills, 1:01
H: 5 miles, 42:27
S: 15.4 miles, operator/watch malfunction
S: 3.6 miles, Hills, 32:58