Sunday, November 18, 2018

Back out on the track

Just did a little today, nice weather 58º and mostly sunny late afternoon.  Feeling OK and I've decided to forego any needles in my knee and cancel my appointment tomorrow.  If if was really important to me to compete this season, and if I hadn't shown improvement, I would get the steroid and Euflexxa injections.  But it seems to be improving slowly.  I can sprint nearly full speed from a 3 point stance, it's only full stride when my leg is fully extended where I feel any problem.  

I'm going to get my mri report and send it to Alan T., a fellow sprinter who is also a knee surgeon.  He said one steroid shot wouldn't hurt and the Euflexxa wouldn't either, but since I'm in no hurry, I'll continue on as I am.  Since I can run 15 sec. 100s, if I can string a bunch of them together with 1 min rest, that's a workout.  

I was just on the track 2 days ago so I didn't do much today.  
Hoka trainers on 
100m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 100m - 14.43, 14.34 
2 x 50m - 7.00, 7.03
25 x single leg squat hops 
Four sprints from a 3 point stance.  No problem accelerating.  I think if things keep going as they are, I should be able to do some meaningful volume in 2 weeks.  

Really heavy though, 151.5 lbs this morning.  Need to work on that.  I'm going to do something physical everyday.  I think being on the track more than once a week is ok with such low volume.  

Looks like fair weather Tues - Thurs so I'll be back out to run some track or hills.  Still not ruling out Poland.  Will make a decision by 12/15.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Today I saw the first improvement in a while on the track.  46º and sunny near sunset at the Sewanee track.  I did pretty much the same things but added a second set of single leg squat jumps, and I interspersed my runs between strength exercises.
Hoka trainers on 
2 x 100m warmup, stretches, drills 
100m - 15.65 
2 x 25 x single leg squat jumps 
25 x single leg step up jump 
3 x 100m - 15. 69, 14.90, 14.62
This is not exactly fast, but it's much faster than I've able to run in weeks.  I do feel terribly out of shape.  Just running a brisk 100m tires me and I feel out of breath, which is silly for a 100m.  I am almost able to run with normal stride and I didn't feel any swelling afterward.  100m though, is about the furthest I can run right now without a small amount of pain.

My MRI showed some wear on meniscus and articular cartilage, but apparently not requiring surgery.  They recommended a steroid injection followed later by a lubricant injection, probably Euflexxa.  With my knee beginning to improve, and the likely possibility I may sit out the '19 season, I wonder if I should go through with these injections?  I have an appointment Monday.  I think it's important to my health to be able to do track workouts even if I am going to sit out, so I guess I will.  I still haven't definitively ruled out Poland, but I would have to see some pretty immediate improvement.  I'm in a pretty deep hole right now in regards to fitness.  People talk about cross training, but there is nothing like a sprint interval workout on the track.  It's good to be able to sprint. 

I requested the MRI report but they didn't send it.

I'm fat, probably over 150lbs.  Seeking to reduce. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Warmup, strengthening, a little running

My weekly test of my legs and little improvement.  I was surprised at how sore I was even several days after last workout due to the strengthening exercises I did (squats, lunges, step ups). 

It was good ole' fall weather in Sewanee ... damp, mid 40ºs, cloudy, raw and breezy.  Still some colorful leaves on the trees.  This time of year last year I was on the track at least 2 days a week doing hard foundation like 3 x 600s, etc...  Quite a different story this yr.  It's been 4 weeks since the knee injury and not much improvement.  I still haven't got the results of my MRI but probably this week.
Hoka trainers on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
25 x single leg squats, step ups/hops, lunges 
2 x 100m on grass - 18.5, 16.2
I did try and run a little faster in my last 100m on grass but my stride feels short, choppy, protective, and before I was finished I started to feel the swelling behind my knee again.    Not much improvement. 

I did wake up quite light yesterday, 147 bs but back up to 150 today.

I have to set a deadline of decision for competing in Poland.  If I am not able to train full scale in 4 weeks, and sprint race pace in 6 weeks, I'll likely sit out the entire 2019 indoor and outdoor season.  I think the likelihood of that is probably good.  I miss running fast but I don't miss the pain and suffering of training.  If I am to be competitive, I need to commit to it as if it's my living depends on it, the same level of commitment as past seasons.  I won't go to Poland unless I am 100% and can train full scale by mid Dec.   If I do sit out '19, a come back after such a long period will be tough especially near age 60, depending on how my cross training goes.  There is also a possibility I could retire from track altogether.  Some of my colleagues have done that right near the peak of their career.  Nick B. set an 800m WR then retired shortly after.  Ken E. won a World silver in the WMA then retired shortly after.   Ed W. won numerous Nationals in the 400m and was a SWS WR relay member, then just disappeared.  Better to retire I guess than compete and not be competitive.

I expect to be in the weight room and on the track about once a week.  If I show improvement, I'll ramp it up.  The good thing is that the knee doesn't remain sore after a bit of running the swelling is minor and subsides quickly.  This injury on my L knee is unfortunately my strongest leg, so the previous idea of trying long jump is out since this would be my take off leg.

I need to focus on music and other things now.  This fall I rediscovered how much I enjoy boating and hope to do more of it in the spring/ summer if I'm not competing.   Funny but since I've been seriously racing, I used my boat only once or twice a year, and not usually until fall after the season is over. 

Not one to rest on my laurels but it's been a helluva ride.  A World Championship (200m), 5 USATF National Championships (and 3 silver), a USATF Masters Age group Athlete of the YR., M55 4x200 World Record, 4 individual world medals, World #1 Rank ('16 indoor M55 400m), 53 college track meets after age 50.   I've made my mark and if I choose to walk away, it's ok.  But, I hope to be back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Modest strengthening, a little running

I hit the track today to do a little exercise, far from a real workout.  I did two 100m warmup runs on grass then my usual drills and stretching.  Then I did sets of body weight strengthening exercises including double and single leg squats, step ups, lunges, etc...

I then went to the hill, ran a 100m felt ok.  Then after the second one I started feeling a bit of swelling behind my knee so I stopped with that.  It was enough work to cause a bit of muscular soreness today the day after. 
Hoka trainers on 
200m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
double and single leg squats, step ups, lunges 
2 x 100m hill runs
I am really out of shape and know that it's going to be a long road back if I ever do get back.  No mri results yet.  Now 3 weeks since the injury and it's still a factor.  I'm feeling no knee pain today, just muscular soreness so that's a good thing. 

I would say I'm doubtful for the upcoming indoor season at this point.  This is the least I've run in years and it's easy to get into the regime of NOT training.   I think it has also had detrimental effects on my weight, strength, and general health as I have taken weeks to fight off a cold which is unusual.  Hanging right around 150 lbs and trying to eat better.  Looking forward to some time off during Thanksgiving week and the weekends before and after.  I hope to be running foundation by then.

I was talking with Sue M., a many time Nat'l masters champion sprinter who has been out for a year due to spinal problems.   We talked about making the transition out of masters track.  I hope that doesn't happen for me, bit its always possible.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Warmup and stairs

Went to the Marist track on Sunday.  After a warmup it was apparent my knee couldn't take any running even on grass so I did several stadium stair runs, every step (instead of every other step), keeping the movement small. 

I've decided to get an MRI tomorrow.  2 weeks since injury and it's still an issue.   From what I've been told, it's most certainly a meniscus issue.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Inactivity is dangerous

Still in my off season recovery.  With some recent boating trips and my knee injury, I was inactive for over a week, save for some leisurely biking.   But yesterday I did my usual 7.5 mile mountain biking ride that included a few lung burning hills and went to the gym to do a full warmup, drills, and a few light weights and a few stair runs.   The upper body stuff was definitely beneficial for my left hand circulation problem and wasn't as painful last night.  However, the knee is far from recovered.  Although it feels better today, it felt very tight last night, especially behind the knee.  Stretching definitely helped.  I think that very steep hike in the Smokies contributed a little to the knee issue.  Both actually hurt a bit when running stairs. 

Having been 3 weeks since my last meet (100/200) and 5+ weeks since my last race in Spain, this has been a long time off.  I think I may be ready to do a little running in about a week on grass.  I really think extended periods of rest beyond 3 weeks with no activity is dangerous for an athlete.  It may have contributed to my knee injury last time on the track.  The longer one takes off, the more fragile the body becomes.  I think the body responds to light stress and heals faster than when doing nothing. 

Time to start eating better.  I'm still not totally fat, 148.5 this morning.  Anything under 150 for me is ok for off season.  I have time.  For a good 12-14 week training cycle before Poland, I'd need to be on it full scale by early Dec. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Back after 2 weeks

I hit the track for the first time in 2 weeks, since the TN District meet where I ran the 100/200m.  It started out well, but ended with a possible injury.

I didn't want to do much, had really gained a lot of fat in the last 2 days of bad eating, but probably ran one too many today.  With my pastry-fed fat body, I managed a moderate effort 800m, rested then decided to run one up tempo 200m.  About 140m in, I felt and heard a loud snap in my left knee.  Undoubtedly cartilage (and not a ligament).  It wasn't immediately painful, just startling.  Whatever it was, wasn't good.  I've never had serious knee issues so I remain unconcerned but I have noticed a bit more pain this evening and it may keep me out of the Friday meet.  I barely notice it walking around.  Should have stopped with the 800m.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:43 
150m - 21 
Hopefully this will heal and I'll be back on the track soon.  I was planning on going out Tuesday but maybe not if the knee hurts. 

150.4 lbs after workout.