Friday, July 15, 2011

A Bad Millennium

Word has it that legendary sea explorer Jacques Cousteau and his ship discovered a sunken boat from ancient Greece. Among the artifacts brought up was a bottle of wine. Cousteau opened the bottle and took a good swig. He immediately spat it out, saying with Gallic aplomb, "That was a bad century!"

One more story: five or ten years ago, some radio announcer said this about the Chicago Cubs: "Any team can have a bad century... but now they're having another one."

I mention these things because I seem to be having a bad millennium. I can actually trace the badness back to the previous millennium, to an injury I incurred in 1997. Something called plantar fasciitis. Until that point, I'd been having some very good years, but after that, they weren't so stellar. Sure, there were some ups and downs, but the ups were never quite as up as 1996 and before. And the trend continues into this millennia that we now find ourselves part of.

It's to be expected that there will be good and bad days, weeks, years, etc. And this year I actually have had some really good running days. I've blogged about those. And I've also blogged about the bad ones.

This week, month, season (being summer) have all been mostly bad however. Last weekend's running was actually better than expected, with 14 on the towpath Saturday followed by two Hinckley loops Sunday. It was Monday through Thursday that weren't too good. They old PF is as bad as ever, and the groin pull has been re-injured.

Maybe I should just give up and wait till the next millennium rolls around.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Yin and Yang

Patient: "This PF really sucks. My heel is killing me."
Doctor: "Have you ever had this before?"
Patient: "Yes, a couple years ago."
Doctor: "Well, you've got it again."

That's one of my dad's old vaudeville jokes. But it also sums up my experience with PF treatments. I've had this latest round since January, but I've managed to get some half-way decent running in throughout the first half of the year. The PF pain has come and gone, and I've been fortunate that for most of the time it's been gone.

But it has definitely came back with a vengeance during and after Mohican. It's strange how I knew going in that that run would be a watershed for me, but didn't know just how until now.

It's also funny how, even when the pain is there, I can still occasionally run fairly well. And other times, not.

Case in point: I went out for a run Saturday morning from our hotel in Gettysburg. We were there for the Living History with Barry and Veronica. I absolutely love the landscapes there; what a serenely beautiful area to stage a bloody battle. I had this one day to run, and I surely wanted to take advantage of it.

It was still dark when I started, so I did some loops around the roads (mostly Presidential Circle) surrounding the hotel, movie theaters and other hotels and restaurants. The number of loops turned out to be nine. I figured them to be just short of a mile, and I challenged myself to run each one a bit faster. I even did the last four at something like tempo pace.

Even though I was feeling some pain, the run was going quite well. Now I had 5-6 to go to complete what I wanted to do today. So I ran out away from these local roads... and almost immediately into the National Park. This surprised me, since I had believed that we were far away; this must have been a different part than that which I was familiar with. The landscapes were beautiful in this part as well, and there were cannons and historical markers all over the place.

So the run began with a good effort, and ended with a scenic run through history.

Monday was the Fourth of July: time for the Medina Twin Sizzler 5k/10k. I'd taken Sunday off, and although the 'ole PF was hurting, I had hopes of running at least close to last year's times.

It was great to see all my MCRR and other friends. The town square was buzzing and alive with activity. The 5k didn't go according to plan. Just after that downhill start my PF began hurting more and more. And, like Mohican, everything else began to hurt as well. I was even having trouble catching my breath. I came in at 21:30 something; about a minute and a half slower than last year. And this one just about killed me. How in the world would I be able to even get through the 10k?

After 2 uphill miles there, I was having trouble keeping an 8:30 pace going. Then we hit some down-hills, and I managed to take a minute a mile off that time. For this race my time was 49 minutes. I'm almost positive that's a Personal Worst. By a lot.

And now I'm really hurting. (I think I've said that before...)

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...