Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewanee pool sprints

This past week it's been every third day in the pool.  Yesterday, Sunday... I did a brief workout at the Sewanee pool.  I really really didn't want to go on this cold day, but I did.  After a 2:00 one lap warm up, I did 30 sec sprints.   Kind of felt like running 200s.

Aqua jogger belt on 
2:00 min warmup 
7 x 30 sec sprints - 152-160 steps per min pace 
45 sec rest between
It kept my heart rate near or above 140 the whole time.  It was a short intense workout, was in the pool only about 30 min and I did some swimming as well.  I also hung around and watched the Sewanee v. Hendrix basketball game.

Next week is the meet here in Sewanee.  Hope to see Don and maybe Ken from Atlanta.

Missing this season sucks.  I sometimes fear my foot won't heal properly.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Today, did an expanded pool workout.   I found that swimming and 25 sec (pool running) sprints are a way to get my heart rate up to 160.

6 x 2:00 - pool running
100m - crawl stroke fast
6 x 2:00 - pool running
100m - crawl stroke fast
3 x 25 sec pool sprints

Wearing the boot.  Don't think it's really any better than my hiking boot.   Off to Sewanee's pool this weekend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

blood work and cold weather, surgical options

Went to the MTSU rec center to swim today, not a single available parking spot ... but plenty for motorcycles.  I went home and didn't want to go back to swim on this coldest day of the year on my bike.   So, I cancelled today and will do resistance tonight at home.  I should be able to do more resistance stuff with my new protective walking boot - 25 days since the broken foot.   It seems ridiculous that I shouldn't be able to row.  I may go over there and see if the boot will fit in those stirrups.

Annual blood work
Since my break from track training I've let my diet slip.   Eating bread and butter and bad stuff.   Since I have genetically high cholesterol, I have to eat like a rabbit and train like a gym rat to be close to optimum levels.  Predictably, my lipids have regressed - likely due in part to 3 weeks away from the track.   My LDL -  bad cholesterol made the biggest jump - from 99 a year ago to 135.  Total cholesterol 190 - up from last yrs 175.  Good cholesterol HDL remains unchanged at 49.  Blood pressure a nominal 124/74, pulse 62.  At least my PSA went down to 1.3.

I NEED to clean up my diet.  Been depressed and binging on bread and preserves.

I need to stop being obsessive about losing fitness.  I do miss the track, and it has affected my feeling of well-being.     Just hope that the xrays on 2/8 show some progress.

I've decided against surgery on my foot because I'd rather let it heal naturally, however, Elite Sport group sent me an estimate and would charge me a very reasonable $400 and change plus 10% of the anesthesia and facility fee.  It would probably cost less than $2K out of pocket but I'm going to only do that if absolutely necessary.   They use permanent metal screws, not absorbable screws for this procedure, all the more reason not to do it.  Surgeons like to cut and even this sugeon is not convinced it is necessary.  He said he was 'on the fence' about it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

back in the damn pool

My foot feels fine, really ... but to follow the Dr.'s orders, I'm eschewing biking, rowing and all manner of exercise that involves foot pressure.  

In the pool;
12 x 2:00 min @ 116-120 steps / min 
30 - 45 sec rest
My heart rate never gets much above 150, so I may begin swimming laps as well.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Xrays - out for an additional 9+ weeks

I never imagined this could happen.   I've been working hard since October.  My track season is in the shitter.

Xrays today showed no significant healing, although these xrays are weight bearing where the previous were not, so a side by side comparison is not totally valid.  There is a 3mm gap in the bone when seen from weight bearing lateral view.  The doc says it's not uncommon for these breakes to get worse before they get better but since the pain has subsided, I was hoping for a better result.  However, it looks worse, not better.

I was pretty devastated by the news that I will NOT be running in the indoor season AT ALL.   Dr. Willers says it takes 12-16 weeks.   It's just been 3 weeks.   Best case scenario, I might be able to get a meet in by mid-April...  if I'm lucky - the end of the local college outdoor track season.

Dr. W also said that if it were really important to me to run asap, he could have put a screw in it if I came to him on "day one."  I asked what about  a screw now, he said he was on the fence about it.  It would have to be done immediately and all healing up to now would be erased.  I don't think there is much to be gained by adding a screw at this point.

LEFT- non weight bearing 12/31;  RIGHT - weight bearing 1/18

I talked James Chinn, a vet of many national and world masters championships, he basically said I just need to adjust my expectations and hope maybe to get a few meets in by summer.

Doctor's orders are that I wear the immobilizer walking boot and see him again in 3 weeks.  This boot is going to be a bitch.   They are sized small, medium, etc... the small is size 5.5 -7.   The medium is size 7 - 10.5.  So, what size do I get?  I went with a medium and now thinking I should have gone with a small.   Anyway, the same exact boot Elite Sports Medicine was trying to sell me for $275, I found on Amazon for $58.  I will have it by tomorrow.  It's like a ski boot.  Can't drive with it on, have to carry it with me on my cycle when I drive to work.

This is going to suck.

UPDATE:  I wasted $20 in shipping charges.  I've decided to get the low rise Ossur Rebound Air Walker.  I received the high top air walker today and it's just too big.

Dr.: out for indoor season

...more details to come.

seriously bummed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I wanted to get into the pool today but after jumping in, I was informed I couldn't use the deep water (required for water running) due to a kids' swim club.   Indignant, I left and headed to the Concept 2.

I did my usual rowing workout - hard.
Concept 2 Rowing Machine 
3 x 2000m - 8:25, 8:30, 8:37   stroke rates: 38, 38, 36
10 min on Stairmaster - heart rate 150-160
I took Wed off and I may have to take Fri off due to activities and Dr. appointments.  I hope the foot Dr. will give me news that I'm healing ok.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More rowing

Sewanee pool wasn't open til 7pm so I decided to row again.  It's really a better workout in some ways. It gets my heart rate higher ... 160+ after a sprint.

Concept 2 pm3 rowing machine 
3 x 2000m - 8:30, 8:32, 8:45 - stroke rates: 37, 39, 38 
500m - 1:55.3   -  stroke rate: 48

I kept the drag at 1, 2 or 3, trying a different setting for each.  Not much difference.

It was a workout.

Foot feels a little better.  Tested it by jogging a few steps.   Still not ready.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New trainer: Concept 2 rowing

My first go at it, not knowing the machine, the correct form, or anything else ... I did 3 sets.  After I noticed the first set, the drag setting was 1, I experimented and tried 3, then 5.

It was a good workout.   I was feelin it in the glutes.  Already feeling a little pain in my left lat, hope I didn't strain something.
Concept 2 pm4 rowing machine
3 x 2000m  - 9:01, 8:25, 8:45
Didn't go hard the whole way.   I sprinted the last 200m or so.  My avg  stroke rate was 38.  I got the best result with the drag setting at 3.

I'm a bit heavy.... 144.0 but have a fast coming up on Tues and Wed for my blood work.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I can bike

The leg pump from biking is every bit as good as running stadium stairs.   I'm happy to be able to bike and it doesn't hurt to push pedals from the ball of my foot under my big toe.  In fact, I think it's good rehab for the peroneus tendon.

69º and windy with an approaching storm and cold front in my neighborhood of Murfreesboro.

On the bike
1 mile warm up 
3 x 3 miles 
I didn't know what pace so I tried 3 min miles.  I was only able to get under 3 min for one mile.   The nature of this exercise is that the leg burn comes before the lung burn, especially when my butt is off the seat and I'm pumping hard.   That position I usually only maintain for about 1/4 mile before sitting down with fatigue.  Anyway, I think this could replace the pool.. it seems like it could be a bitchin' workout.   I guess I probably should get a helmet if I keep doing this.   My bike pump just broke so I need one of those too.

Followup with foot specialist on Fri 1/18.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Paul Ryan Syndrome"

It's a big pet peeve for me...

God do I hate people who lie about their race times ... like Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan who was called out on by Runners World on his lie of running a sub 3 hr marathon.  How do they think they can get away with it?  There is nothing more easy to research than race times.

I met a woman named Debbie Compton from Franklin, TN.  She claimed to have run a  17:58 5K at age 45.   First, she said she finished second in the race, and then she said she won it.  She also claimed to have run 9 marathons with a PR of 3:28.

I was astounded and skeptical that she ran a 17:58 5K ... and of course she couldn't remember where or what race.   I was skeptical because that time is below Viki Crisp's state record for that age and race.  That time would be truly elite, 2nd in the nation in most USATF Masters Nationals 5k road races in her age group.

I call: PANTS ON FIRE!  She's lying.  Person best times are hard fought and earned.  One does not easily forget where and when you earned a personal best time ... unless you're lying.

The reality is - the only 2 races I found for Debbie Compton on record were the '07 Habitrot 5K where she ran a mediocre 28:25  - not even in the top 15 of her age group, and the '97 Marine Corp Marathon where she ran a 4:45:07 ... at age 33.

When confronted with these facts she claimed she got a lot faster when "she started training on a bike" and that the fast 5K was due to inspiration from her father in law's death.  OK..... right.

Fraud.  Narcissistic personality disorder - those that lie and exaggerate their achievements.  Also, she describes herself as "smart" and "attractive" on a website.  Grant it, maybe she's so clueless about the sport she doesn't even realize the absurd level of her lie... not so smart.  Look at the Nashville Striders Race Results for the past 10 years.  I can't find one female over 35 that has run a 5K under 18 sec in 10 years (other than world champion Sonia Friend-Uhl at age 41).

I have no tolerance for shit like this.  Those of us who bust our asses day after day in a sport where achievements are precisely measured by the clock, have no tolerance for those who lie about their race times.

I asked Jacob Carrigan, the local 5K king who has won more 5k races in 10 years than anyone in the state.  He said he's never heard of Debbie Compton and if she had run even in the 18s, he'd have remembered her.  He called it "Paul Ryan Syndrome."

Come on Debbie, prove me wrong.   Show us proof of your 17:58 5K, your 9 marathons with a PR of 3:28.

Pool again, more

Even more this time.  Did 12 straight 2:00 intervals with just 40 sec rest.   Heart rate still only reached a max of 136, not close to the rate I would get on the track.
Aqua jogger belt on 
12 x 2 min at 124 steps / min avg 
40 sec rest between
That's 5 days water running this first week.   Three days in a row.   I think I can do this everyday.  Sometimes hard to want to get wet.  The biggest thing I'm missing is my dynamic stretching and drills.  Need to do more resistance as well.

Foot feels slightly better.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bigger pool workout

I'll have to remember not to go to the pool after 4:30 when the local kids swim club is training ... just to avoid hearing the constant yelling of their coach.

Good workout.
Aqua jogger belt on 
2 x 6 x 2:00 min - 120-130 strides per min 
45 sec - 1 min rest in between
I could probably do this everyday.  I do need some cross training so maybe tomorrow I will look for the rowing machine and see if it hurts my foot.

Monday, January 7, 2013

In the MTSU pool

I guess it should not be a surprise that at the MTSU pool, water running belts were not only available, but were laying on 2 racks at both ends of the pool.   The MTSU pool was 5º cooler than Sewanee's pool.   I adjusted to he 79º water.  Surprisingly, MTSU does not have a swim team, Sewanee does.

Today, I modified my technique so as to be running more upright with less forward lean.   My neck was stiff from too much forward lean in previous sessions.  Very slow progress through the water... 2 min for 25 meters.

Still felt the squats that I did 3 days ago in Sewanee.
 Aqua jogger belt on
2 min warmup 
5 x 2:00 min at 120 steps/min 
6 x 2:00 min at 120+ steps/min 
1 min rest in between all

Fellow runners, Tony DiSalvo, Nick Berra, and John Woodman have all told me that this is really a great regime and I will not lose much fitness if I keep at it.

Not much difference in the foot.   Seems to be healing slowly.   It's only been 9 days.   I should be able to bike in a week.   Maybe Concept 2 rowing as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bumper sticker

Track- the original sport ... since 776 B.C.

Xray 12/31/12 - avulsion fracture of 5th metatarsal

The Xray from New Years Eve taken at the Emerald Hodgson Hospital in Sewanee, showing my avulsion fracture.   Bummer.   

I was going to hit the MTSU pool this evening but I'm sore in the haunches from doing 2x12 explosive squats with weight ... (with a wide stance it does not hurt my foot).   So, I decided to stay home and take a sauna and do some resistance and play guitar.

I had an encouraging talk with Tony DiSalvo who heartily recommended pool running and like John W., says it can prepare you to run on PR level after getting back on land.  He also suggested getting some less stiff training spikes (like for middle distance).

Friday, January 4, 2013

Aqua training day 2

Same workout as yesterday pretty much, except for some sprints at the end.   I'm still playing with the form, I've found a bigger slower stride is a better pump so I may not adhere to a strict cadence in the future, or just a slower bigger one.
50m jog warmup 
2 x 5 x 2:00min at 120 step/min pace 
4 x 15sec sprints at 140/min pace
1 min rest between  
weights and abs
Foot feels a little better.  I'm thinking I might be running on an eliptical in a week, grass by the end of the month.  I can curl and extend my toes with no pain.  I have been walking on it considerably but gingerly.  Black and blue is almost gone.  Sleep is the best healer.  Taking Calcium and D-3, magnesium.

Weight is good.  142.5 after workout.

Sewanee had a lot of these Aqua-jogger belts.  Must be a standard form of training.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Aqua running

It was awesome.   Thanks to my racing colleague John Woodman, I took his suggestion and tried deep water running.   Why I have never done this before, I don't know.  The University at Sewanee just happened to have the "Aqua-Jogger" belts.   Perfect.    No learning curve, totally natural.  Just jumped in the pool and ran.
Aqua belt on 
5 x 2:00 min - 120 steps/min cadence  
 30 sec. rest between
300m lap swim 
5 x 2:00 min - 120 steps/min cadence
2 x 1:30 sprints - 140 steps/min cadence
I also did some weights and upper body while I was there.

I can cover 50m in about 1:30 to 2:00 min.  It's not as tiring as running a 600m, so I just take about 30sec recovery in between.   Forward motion is not important.  Cadence and good form are important.  So, I time my cadence and rest rather than my laps.   The motion seems to fatigue the quads far more than the hams compared to running on land.   I'm considering buying some water training shoes to add resistance to the hams.

It was a satisfying workout, I could probably do this 5 times a week.

The foot feels ok, still not able to walk normally, it is black and blue but feels better than yesterday, except for those first few steps in the morning.  Weight is ok considering  holidays ... 143 after workout.

The first 3 minutes of this video explain the technique. At 7:50 min in the video, they make a case for using the AQX aqua shoes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Moving forward - goals and activities

This broken foot is new territory for me.  I can hobble about in my padded hiking boots with almost no pain but I have to keep the weight off the outside of my foot.  Before I came to the mountain Sunday morning, I had no idea how bad this might be.  I even brought my spikes and gear to train thinking it might be something as minor as a sprain. But no, by Monday, it still hurt so I got the xray, and the bad news.

I had wondered what would be better, a hard cast or soft walking boot.  A small published study (60 cases) indicated a better result with a soft dressing (boot) as opposed to a cast, and gives me an idea of how long it will take to heal:

"healing was present in all patients by 65 days with 44 days representing the average elapsed time for such change. All patients returned to full weightbearing and full physical activity within 96 days. Significantly, the average length of recuperation for patients treated with a soft (jones) dressing was 33 days as compared to 46 days for those treated with a short leg cast. Also, the average modified foot score for patients treated in a soft dressing was 92 (excellent) compared to 86 (good) for patients treated in a short leg cast. We conclude that a soft dressing allows patients to return to pre-injury levels of activity faster than when treated in a short leg cast and without compromising clinical or radiographic union of avulsion fractures of the base of the fifth metatarsal."

I have an appointment with Dr. Jeff Willers at the Elite Sports Medicine Group on 1/18 (20 days after injury) to evaluate the healing process and get recommendations.  Willers is the foot specialist in the group.

Also, I've added Caltrate and D-3 supplements to my glucosamine and biotin.   My yearly physical is coming up so, on suggestion from the physician in Sewanee (where I had my xrays), I may ask for a testoterone and bone density tests.

So, the average healing time for a soft boot was 33 days.  Based on that, I think I may be able to run on grass by at least 45 days - or Feb 12, full scale training on the track by 60 days - Feb. 27.  I just might be able to make Indoor Nationals but doubt I'll be able to be competitive.

God, I hate sitting on my butt.  How did I become a guitarist?   Today, I am joining the Fowler Rec Center in Sewanee so I can swim and continue to do non-track training.  Swimming laps is boring to me but I'll try it again.  Maybe I can do other things like rowing, I'll see.

UPDATE:   My friend John W an 800m guy, suggested water running, actual deep-water upright running with floatation vest.  Feet don't touch the floor.  Looks promising. Also looks pretty weird.. like a person who doesn't know how to swim.