Training Log 1/18-24

Week of Training January 18 – 24

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 16 Long run
Monday 7 6
Tuesday 12 Drills and Strides, Core
Wednesday 13 Workout (1-5-1 min Fartlek)
Thursday 10 9
Friday 13
Saturday 8
Week Total 94

During this week I noticed a few important changes that showed I was very much back into training. The most noticeable difference was that my metabolism has been sky high. Biologically this makes sense as running more means more calories burned, which means more calories need to be consumed. Every few hours I would find my stomach grumbling and my legs taking me to the kitchen.

Another sign that I was back into training was I was much more tired on my everyday runs. Even though this feeling is a common occurrence, it was definitely a reminder of how important it is to listen to your body while training. Sometimes the smart route is to shorten a day if you are feeling tired and sore.

The Miccosukee Greenway. I had my workout this week on this field!

The Miccosukee Greenway. I had my workout this week on this field!

The last thing that really signified my transition into this coming cycle was Pete, Ryan, and I sat down and discussed the upcoming year of training and what specific races I will be doing in the next few months. After having to pass up on my two scheduled races of the year, it was nice to have some direction to aim my training towards. I have updated my results/schedule page, but my first race I get to head down to Puerto Rico to run the World’s Best 10km. The race is an IAAF Gold Label Race, which is a highly prized award as only 88 races have a label with 21 of them gold. Every year the field at World’s Best is phenomenal, so I will be running against some of the best runners in the world. After that I head to the famous (or dare I say infamous) Gate River Run. This will be my third year running Gate, and I hope to continue to my string of good performances there. After that I will take a month or so to get ready for some track races, which will cumulate at USATF Championships in Eugene in June.

Now I am going to do fulfill a request of a reader and talk a bit more about the treatment for my Achilles tendonitis, specifically the shockwave treatment. Going to see Dr. Fullem in Tampa, I knew little about what exactly shockwave treatment was, but I assumed that it was similar to STIM treatment, which is something that is a standard for all sorts of injuries. After some research I found out that they are not the same. Unlike STIM, which uses electronic shocks to stimulate muscles, shockwave treatment uses sound waves to interact with tissues. The sending high intensity sound waves into damaged tissue can reverse inflammation, increase the blood flow of the area, and begin to break down build up of calcium deposits. Basically it helps return the tissue back to normal so that it can heal. It is very effective for chronic injuries like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

The treatment itself was very short. Each session was 5 minutes long! It was a bit odd to come all the way to Tampa for an initial evaluation and a total of 15 minutes of therapy, but it seemed to be something that helped me get over my injury. While the treatment was only 5 minutes long, it tended to be pretty painful, especially when the shockwaves were close to the bone. Since bone is much less malleable than muscle, it was much more painful around the heel.

Here are some Websites that are a good resource for shockwave treatment:
Canadian Version
European Version

Training Log 1/11-17

Week of Training January 11 -17

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 8
Monday 5
Tuesday 8 Treatment, Travel to Tallahassee
Wednesday 10
Thursday 9
Friday 13 Pick up last 3 miles
Saturday 8 Core
Week Total 61

I spent this week was just getting back into training. I saw it as a transition week. My Achilles problems seemed to be nearly gone and started to feel better on my runs.

The Miccosukee Greenway! It might be my favorite place to run in Tallahassee!

The Miccosukee Greenway! It might be my favorite place to run in Tallahassee!

At the beginning of the week I was still in Tampa getting treatment from Dr. Fullem. I received my last treatment on Tuesday afternoon and took the Greyhound bus to Tallahassee that night. That meant that in the morning I was running with the team, for the first time in over a month! I had been anxious to join the team since I had left for Florida.

Since this was a transition week, all I did was run base miles. I need to once again get my legs used to the miles that are needed for training. It had been five weeks since I had any substantial sort of miles, so a moderate introduction was in store. The only thing that I did faster than normal pace was a pick up of three miles at the end of my run on Friday. During the “workout”, I felt great running faster than easy pace, but my legs lacked any pop in them. They felt flat and sluggish, which is to be expected after 5 weeks of no faster running. One thing I could take solace in, is the knowledge that I get fit very fast. In the coming weeks I should be back to feeling normal again!

Training Log 1/4-10

Week of Training January 4 – 10

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday 60 min Bike
Monday 60 min Bike, Travel to CO
Tuesday Off
Wednesday Off, Travel to FL, Treatment
Thursday 6
Friday 6
Saturday 6 Treatment
Week Total  18

This week I got one step closer to joining the team. At least I made it to the same state! Rather than head to Tallahassee, I made a pit stop in Tampa so that I could see Dr. Brian Fullem. Over the last few years, Dr. Fullem has treated many ZAP athletes. Being a very well known podiatrist, he has treated many runners over the years, including numerous ZAP athletes

I arrived in Tampa and went straight to Dr. Fullem’s office for my first treatment. After an initial consultation, he came up with a diagnosis. Fortunately for me, the six days off prior had really helped clear up any lingering pain and soreness, so the plan of attack was to have three sessions of aggressive shockwave treatment. Along with that, he ordered some custom orthotics that should help with some ongoing first metatarsal (big toe) joint mobility issues. One of his ideas is that because my first metatarsal joint was not bending far enough while running, there was extra pressure on other areas, especially my Achilles.

My friend's dog, Nikita. She is a high energy!

My friend’s dog, Nikita. She is a high energy!

After my appointment, I went to stay with a family friend. Over the next few days I hung out with her and her dog, half wiemeriner, half vizsla. We also did some things around Tampa, like on Friday we went to the Tampa Bay Lightening game and on Saturday we had a game night and barbeque with some of her friends. I usually only see her about once a year, so I was happy that I could visit.

Also this week, I had a talk with Pete regarding what I am going to do for my upcoming races. We came to the conclusion that it is not in my best interest to race US Cross in February. Pete sent me this text not long after my first visit to Dr. Fullem: “I do believe in the adage that even through injury it is your body telling you to rest / you have been hitting it hard since oct ’13 / this will serve you well long term.” (If it does not make sense to you, do not worry about. It is just the way that Pete sends a message) Sometimes it is always good to have someone else look at the situation and give his or her opinion. Looking back, over the last 15 months I have had breaks, but mostly I have been in full training mode. While racing and training hard all year round would be, it unfortunately is not sustainable. Having Pete mention how long I have been going at it helped make me take a second look at my training for the last couple of years and really realize that my body was telling me it was near a breaking point. Now I can look at this slight set back as a way to get myself ready for a push to the Trials in 2016. I have 13 months before I toe the line in Los Angeles, and I know that I will have to be healthy to make the Olympic Team. Beyond being healthy, I have to be ready to run fast, where the weeks, months, and even the years prior will have the largest impact.

Also check out Cole’s blog from this week. We had a conversation about injuries, including my currently one and some of the previous ones that Cole has dealt with. It is should give you a pretty good laugh.

Training Log 12/29-1/4

Week of Training December 29 – January 4

Morning Afternoon Notes
Sunday Off
Monday 8 Core, Treadmill, 30 min Bike
Tuesday 8 Core, Treadmill, 30 min Bike
Wednesday 9
Thursday 6 Travel to Cali
Friday Off
Saturday 60 min Bike
Week Total 30

After three weeks of trying to keep up some form of training, I finally acknowledged that my Achilles was no improving and something needed to change. Coming to this conclusion was something that is hard for me. One of my faults is that I tend to be stubborn when it comes to training, so much so that I have and often over trained to the point of injury. As I have said before, my typical cycle in college was, “train hard to get into very good shape, train harder and get hurt.”

Lately I have been looking back at my collegiate career and I always shake my head. Every 18 to 20 months I would get a big injury where I would have to take two or more months off. My last major injury, in 2010 was much longer. Also in that year, I had probably had my shortest cycle of get into shape, then injured. The first 5 months of the year were off due to an injury. Then spent the next 3 and half months getting into very good shape, only to be hurt for the rest of the year. At the start 2011, I began to train again. I was in terrible shape, so much so that running 10 minutes was tiring. Had I run a 5km, it would have been 17 minutes or slower. I started out running 5 minutes a day, and adding 5 minutes every few days. I also began to add in a mix of spinning and elliptical for some cross training, until I was running around 50 miles a week (about 50 minutes of running a day), which took about 7 weeks. It was slow progress, and at times frustrating. By mid April (3.5 months in), I noticed that I was starting to feel better and every week I was getting in better shape. I qualified for DII nationals by the skin of my teeth; I was the 18th seed out of 20! Then at nationals, I ran a very smart race to finish second (second of my four runner up finishes). With 100m to go I thought I was going to win, but I started to tie up in the last 40 meters. Along with a great finish to my season, I also think I was in PR 5000m shape (13:54 at the time).

I learned a few lessons from these. The first one is that all the training from the past does not disappear. If this were the case, I would not have gotten any better in college. I found that the older I got and the more time that I spent training, the easier it was for me to get back into where I was before. In 4 and half months, I went from not being able to run 17 minutes to running 14 minutes for 5km. Even thought the last three weeks have been very limited in my training, I was in good shape before, and will be in good shape after. So I need to just keep motivated and have confidence in both my past and current training, knowing that it will get me back to where I want to be.

Sunset along the Beach in Santa Cruz.

Sunset along the Beach in Santa Cruz.

Another lesson I learned was that it just takes time for things to heal and then get back into shape. There is only so much that you can do. If I push too hard, I will just end up back where I am at now. This has been the hardest part of the last week. I have been anxious when thinking about the next few weeks. I just want to know where I am going to be and what I need to do to get healthy. Unfortunately that is not going to happen all of a sudden, so I have to take it one day at a time. One thing that both Pete and I have made a decision on is to pass on running the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country Race. It is very hard to turn down a Senior Team USA event, but the last thing that an injured Achilles needs is a tough, muddy cross country race. Instead I am heading to Florida to see a doctor there, then either back to ZAP or Tallahassee to join the rest of the team. Over the last seven weeks, I have only seen my teammates once at Clubs. Now I am ready to rejoin them and get healthy and ready to race US Cross in February.

Beside my injured Achilles, I decided to buy a ticket out to California to escape the winter wonderland that had been Colorado. Over the last ten days, I had done a majority of my runs on the Treadmill, both because of my Achilles and because of the snow. I figured that a trip out to California could be good to run in some warmer weather. But then my trip came at an ill-fated time, as Pete wanted me to take some days off of running. So I ended up not running at all, but stuck back in a gym on a spin bike. Regardless, the trip was fun and a good way to take my mind off of not running. Also, not being in the cold was a nice little bonus.