Saturday, March 28, 2009

Breaking News

I wanted to post a quick update on my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. The ITBS has pretty much been resolved and the extra work on the hip seems to have kept that at bay as well. I do have to be diligent about the stretches and using the foam roller or it crops back up pretty quickly. The pain level has decreased 98% from mid December when I couldn't run at all.

In the "there's always something" department - I sustained an injury at the gym that the orthopedic doc will need to refer me to a neurologist and possible MRI, but for now we are going to see if some time will heal. More about that another time.

I don't have much time to post, because in any minute Terry, my coworker and running buddy, and her husband are picking up Lisa and me and we are heading up to Paso Robles. Paso Robles is one of several wine producing regions in California. The four of us will be doing some wine tasting and Terry and I will be running the Paso Robles Wine Country Half. It should be a fun time. My time will be slow but I'm looking forward to getting back into the racing mode.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It Is Well

It was during my long run, 8 miles that the following moment occurred. A good number of the CA Cruisers were running the inaugural Pasadena Marathon Redux the following day (don’t think for a minute that I didn’t want to join them, at least for the half marathon, but I digress) so I was pretty much on my own. I had gone solo over to the San Gabriel River bike path. I was about a mile and a half into my run when this song came up on my ipod. I was alone at that point at one of my favorite spots along the trail. The song, stripped down to the vocalist and the piano, combined with the rhythm of my footfalls was a moment of peace from the frustrations that life had been throwing my way lately. Nothing else mattered; just being in the moment and at peace for a few minutes was a gift.

That song was followed up with one of my favorite artists in a completely different genre. The video is totally goofy but I can’t help but smile through the whole thing.

Some time later I ran through group of Army recruits around mile 5 and again at 7. I ran a little more erect and a little lighter on my feet as I passed them. It was definitely cool to share the path with those kids committed to serving our country.

The run was completed without any major, or really any minor, pains in my right leg. I had seen the PT the day before and we made plans to cut back to once a week for about a month and then once again I’d been on my own. I have an appointment on Wednesday with the orthopedist. I will post an update on that midweek.

Sunday morning while the Cruisers were running around Pasadena I ran around my neighborhood for 4.5 miles. The weather was heavy mist at the start, although I had awaken to rain. By the time I finished the sun was doing its best to peek through the cloud cover.

I ended the week at 21.5 miles, my 2009 maximum so far.

I start my week off next week, with a visit to the dentist for a crown prep I’ve been putting off for a couple of years. That should be fun.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Much Needed Dose of Relief

Saturday morning, I gathered along with a small group of CA Cruisers in front of the Snail's Pace Running Store in Brea. Our planned route was the 2 Parks-2 Loops with the possible addition of the Summit House Loop.

I had no idea whether I'd be running or not, but I decided to give it a shot. Based on the bad results of Thursday run, I didn't have much hope. But based on the work that Jeff, the PT, did on Friday I was more hopeful.

Our group was small and even fewer of the group was interested in doing the Summit House Loop. The loop includes some hills that some wanted to avoid. The one's that did want to give it a go were unsure of the directions. I fell into the leadership role.

I started off running and everything fell into place. I was running with some of the slower members of our group which necessitated frequent stops at key intersections so that I didn't lose anybody. I think the slower pace worked in my favor. No matter the pace I was able to run without the nagging hip pain that had sent me over the edge on Thursday.

After the Summit Loop was accomplished, without losing anybody, I headed off an abbreviated 2 Parks - 1 Loop route. At this point I was running with Adolfo. The rest of the group cut their run short so it was just he and I doing the 2 Parks. Adolfo, a 5-plus hour marathoner, was urging me to go on ahead of him. I stayed with him enjoying the easy pace and pain free run. After a couple more urgings I headed off ahead of him around the 6.5 mile mark. I ended up running the rest of the route without a walk break, feeling pretty darn good.

The entire route - Summit House Loop and 2 Parks-1 Loop was 9.3 relatively pain free miles. Whatever the PT did, and boy did he work me over, on Friday seemed to work.

Sunday morning, after a session with my personal trainer, I headed over to Bonelli for a second go at the 2x Picnic Loop route. I got it done without hip pain.

Things seemed to have turned around. So far, so good. I ended the week with only my second week over 20 miles in 2009 at 20.5 miles.

On other fronts, the offending Regulatory Affairs person actually scheduled a short meeting on Friday to work out one of the issues from Thursday. The teenager helped a friend repair the friend's car so they could take that on the weekend trip they'd planned. Let's see what the next week has in store for me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I've mentioned the accounting class I'm taking. The text has special highlighted sections called FAI - Financial Analysis and Interpretation. Friday night we were learning about inventories. The prof thought this stuff was difficult. I actually found it to be pretty easy. Calculating Inventory Turnover and Number of Days in Inventory was pretty simple. I think since she thinks like an accountant it was difficult because it is pretty much just easy math, not accounting math.

I related about what a bad day Thursday was. I had contemplated cancelling my physical therapy appointment on Friday afternoon over the frustration with the hip. The doc and PT both were focused on the ITBS, not the hip. The ITBS was pretty severe and since that tendon runs from the hip to the knee is seemed reasonable to believe that improving the ITBS would improve the hip. The ITBS was not my primary concern. I know how to deal with it. The hip issue was my motivation for seeking medical treatment. The hip pain was what was keeping me from running earlier in the year. Time off had helped. When it flared back up the other day, I was obviously frustrated.

I did keep the appointment and made sure to explain my symptoms to the PT. He listened and even called over one of the other PT's. Based on the symptoms they both suspect FAI - femoral acetabular impingement. He worked on my hip a lot at that appointment. He wants to continue to address the hip at PT and to discuss it with my orthopedic doc as well. I have a follow up appointment with the orthopedist in a week and a half.

The ITBS is 95% better, so now hopefully we can figure out the hip thing, FAI or not, and the appropriate path to take.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm a Liar

I ended my last post with this statement: "The other definition is from my work with orthodontic adhesives and that's the last thing on my mind when I'm out running."

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Thursday after work my intentions were to head over to Bonelli once again to enjoy the BHT.

I made it to Bonelli but its certainly wasn't enjoyable. At work I sat in a meeting with some regulatory affairs people. One of which doesn't understand the workings of the database that was causing issues and another that was just far too chipper. If you have time to flow chart with color coding something that isn't even your responsibility; you have way too much time on your hand. I'm sick and tired of dealing with their over zealousness.

Once I got home I got to deal with the youngest son's explanation of why he needed to use the truck this weekend. He's lost all privileges to it - no school, no job, no insurance payments - no truck.

Once I made it to Bonelli and started running the run stunk from the get go. To top it all off, my hip started hurting again like it had hurt right after Memphis. I knew it was going to be a pain from the very first step. I suffered through one lap of the picnic loop and called it quits. During the run my mind was racing a mile a minute cursing the regulatory affairs a$$f**ks up and down. That alternated with more curse filled thoughts on teenagers and their friends. And add a few more select curse words for injuries.

It wasn't my best day to say the least and it certainly wasn't Bonelli Happy Time!

So I guess I do occasionally think about work while I'm running (and stupid teenagers and injuries).

Just call me Mr. Negativity.

(as expected all things - attitude, work, teenager, PT and running - all improved eventually. So hang in there. I just had to get this off my chest.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


BHT - butylated hydroxytoluene, a preservative in many foods and in adhesives

On my first week night run since Daylight Savings Time I headed straight on over to Bonelli after work. I was there and running by 6:05 p.m. The sun was still well above the horizon. My mental plan was for 4 miles. I headed out down Raging Waters Drive and then onto my Cottontail Trail. There's no 2 mile landmark so I went right on to the end at 2.5 miles and then turned around and ran back. I'm still sticking to the 5:1 cycle for now.

5 miles total in Bonelli after work. The first one of the season, yahoo! It was a slow one at over 52 minutes. My right knee was squawking a little, but to run in the light after work I was sure a happy camper.

BHT is really Bonelli Happy Time!

The other definition is from my work with orthodontic adhesives and that's the last thing on my mind when I'm out running.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Foreign Accounting

It has been a busy week all the way around. Three nights worth of American Idol, whew. Now let's get the competition going here.

The weather has been pretty schizophrenic this week. We've gone back and forth almost daily from cloudy rainy weather to warm sunny weather. Definitely not our typical weather pattern.

Two sessions of physical therapy. All is going well. The IT band is sore to the touch afterward after having been manipulated, but I can run.

Although I ran 4 times this week, it was a pretty low mileage week. I made 3 trips to the equestrian path in Via Verde - Tues, Thurs and Sunday. Thursday I cut 45 seconds off my Tuesday time and then Sunday I added 30 seconds of it back again.

My long run for the week was just me and my music. The CA Cruisers were heading to one of my favorite places, Chino Hills State Park. Any other day, I'd have been right there with them, but following the PT's advice I'm avoiding hills for now. My friend Terry was planning 16, so I headed over to the San Gabriel River Trail near home for 8 miles on my own.

The PT had given me clearance for 8 to "put the leg to the test." He doesn't know about the 12 last week. I think that was pretty much all the test the leg had in it right now. The 8 miler was way tougher than it should have been. The IT was fine. There is just a general feeling of weakness.

The weekly/weakly mileage was 17, about what I'd planned. I hope to step that back up closer to 20 next week.

I also added in two personal training sessions this week and two 5 mile walks in Bonelli over the weekend. Not such a bad week in the physical fitness department.

On another topic - I've been taking business classes at a local community college for the past year and a half. I have a science degree and wanted to broaden my horizons a little. So far, so good, until this semester. I'm currently taking Financial Accounting and may I say it is a foreign language. All those debits and credits (which don't mean the same thing all the time), deferred and accrued, asset and liability, adjustments, journal entries, expenses, dividends, and revenues. It's just not sticking in this science majors head. Luckily I have a great tutor (my wife is an accountant), but I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.

Running, even running injured, is much easier than this stuff.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Shoe Good

I've been reduced to weekly recaps. I wish I had more (or shorter) posts, but this is the way it is.

I had Physical Therapy on Monday and Friday. The ITBS felt really good after not having Jeff, the PT, beating me up since Wednesday last week. I've actually gotten worse at doing a couple of the single leg balance exercised they have me doing. When I left Friday I was initially approved to run 30 minutes this weekend. Say what?? I negotiated for an hour, but ultimately ran the 12 I had planned. That probably turned out to be more like 2 hours. Oops!

Tuesday I ran 3.5 miles from home. I wore the new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9. It was a good run. It felt a little like the old days. My pace was 9:25, about the same as last Saturday's run, but this run felt "new shoe good."

Wednesday I took the day off and realized later in the evening, after dinner and settling in, that I wouldn't be able to run on Thursday or Friday due to prior commitments. I should have run but I didn't.

Saturday, I met the Cruisers and my friend Terry for a 12 mile run in Huntington Beach. Terry and I ran together using a 5:1 run:walk interval. Around mile 9, my right IT was sending me signals that it had had enough for the day. I stuck it out and made it the whole 12 miles. The IT has since calmed down but the quad/hip flexor is more concerning. I'd mentioned this to the PT on Monday. Friday they gave me some extra exercises to help strengthen that area.

Sunday I had an appointment with yet another PT. This time it was my personal trainer. I decided to run to and from the appointment. The gym is about 2 miles from home. The trainer always has me do some aerobic warm up before starting the strength session. I figured the 2 mile run would be plenty of warm up. What I didn't expect was how difficult the run home would be after the strength training. The run was made somewhat more difficult by the summer-like heat wave we had this weekend. It was 80 degrees by 10:00 a.m. The new shoes weren't much help this time around.

Later in the day after doing some chores at home I headed over to Bonelli for my 5 mile walk. I ended up sharing the trail with somewhere around 200 mountain bikers. I didn't realize it but today was the first race in the US Cup Mountain Bike Series. I made it about 2/3 of the way around my loop before meeting the racers head on. I had to step off the trail for several minutes to let them all pass by. I gathered up 5 dropped water bottles on my way back. The riders were on their way around for loop #2 as I finished up my walk.

I ended February with 71.9 miles, nearly double what I achieved in January. Still pitiful by 2007 standards but heading in the right direction. I ended the week with 19.5 miles, a slight decrease from last week.

My intentions are to scale back the long run next week but to try to get in four runs. I'll probably hit 17 to 20 again next week. If all goes well, I can ramp things up a bit the week after that.

Slow and steady is my mantra this time around, but patience is definitely not my strong suit.