Friday, September 22, 2017

My Attention is in Berlin and my Butt

Week three of the road to the Super Bowl has begun. The World Series is just around the corner. Who cares? Sunday morning is the Berlin Marathon and I am psyched.

One of the greatest match-ups of all time is almost here: Eliud Kipchoge vs. Kenenisa Bekele vs. Wilson Kipsang. Arguably the greatest marathoner ever vs. the 5K and 10K world record holder vs. the last world marathon record holder. YIKES. AND....... if that isn't enough, can you say "world record?"

Yep. most experts are saying that barring the unforeseen, which is always.... unforeseen, a new world best is expected. The pacers are scheduled to take the runners through on world record pace. The participants are talking about running fast, so 2:02:57 could be in jeopardy. So, who's running? Three guys and of course thousands of others. Mostly three guys.

Kenenisa Bekele:   Current best at 2:03:03. One of the greatest 5 & 10K runners/kickers is the defending Berlin champ. While terribly fast, it's unsure which Bekele will show up. Will it be the tough, fast, runner from last year's Berlin, or the inconsistent one who did not finish in Dubai in January and was 3rd to Kipchoge and Stanley Biwott in London in 2016?

Wilson Kipsang:   Current best 2:03:13.  Prior to Dennis Kimetto's world record run, Kipsang held the fastest time. Kipsang's strength is his consistency. Four times he has run under 2:04:00. He is also the only one who has beaten Kipchoge over 26.2 miles.

Eliud Kipchoge:  Current best 2:03:05. Kipchoge, I will admit, is the man in my humble eyes. Coming off the Nike Breaking2 project and running 2:00:25 in "artificial" conditions in early May, Kipchoge has extreme momentum on his side with that run as well as an easy Olympic Marathon win. Moreover, he is the marathon Zen-Master. Listen to this guy talk about running, marathoning, and life and you will be dazzled by his coolness.  

Awesome National Geographic special on the Breaking2 race.

So, I am ready. It airs (and will be recorded) on NBC Sports at 3 am. I won't be up until 5:30. Don't spoil it, please.

Butt Update: Went to a highly recommended physical therapist Wednesday, and lo and behold, I have been right all along: piriformis syndrome. SO..... slowly we have the magic exercise in place and hope to be in the land of pain-free for the New York Marathon in a little more than six weeks.

Nothing against the previous "experts" I have seen, but I know my body and I KNEW what was wrong with it. Just been unsure about the treatment without the proper guidance. Hoping to have it right now.

Run on.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Two Steps Forward......

Two forward, one back
Since last writing, my running has taken the theme of Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (or maybe three).

Feeling suitably inspired after the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon, I decided to take a few easy days. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ended up racking 14 miles. Then my juices kicked in. A 9 mile run was followed by 7 which was followed by 15. Ended up accidentally being a 50 mile week.

The next week was designed to be a completely easy week, less than 40 miles. It was, by the way, executed to perfection. Then while the last week of August saw huge progress with my knee, some discomfort returned in my glute. That nagging piriformis thing seemed to be back. Not cool. My butt had, once again, become a pain in the butt.

Last summer I lost both the San Francisco Marathon and the Squamish 50K (and roughly $450) to the butt injury. When at its peak, the pain feels like a bone on bone stabbing along with some pretty major IT band radiating. Not cool at all. And, it was back.

No caption needed
I had a comfortable 16 mile run on Friday the 1st hoping to have enough rest to run the Fortitude 10K in Ft. Collins on Labor Day. The long run went very well and the easy run the next day created hope. Then Sunday hit. An easy 5 miles turned into a butt loosening nightmare. You see, this injury tends to loosen during runs. The issue is that on a very painful day, it is damned difficult to tolerate on the way to loose. The day before the 10K, it took 4 miles to even feel okay.

Race Day!?!?!?!? Blah! I could not even move after the ride to the Fort (sitting makes piriformis WAY WORSE). I had an hour to loosen up and for the life of me, it was not happening. I finally got to where I could lightly shuffle jog just before the gun. I decided to get in my wave and maybe give it a go.

BANG! The gun goes off. Within seconds everyone in the BB wave is gone. I, on the other hand, am gimping along looking for anywhere to stretch. Then the next wave ran by. Then the next and the next and the next. Eventually I crossed the mile mark in just under 17 minutes. SEVENTEEN MINUTES????? Holy crap, we all WALK faster than that!

Amazingly, however, I finally loosened up. The second mile was an uncomfortable 10:38,
The Finish
followed by a 10:08. followed by three straight in the 9s. Well, that's better. 
Buoyed by my new found speed, I was ready to fly into the new CSU football stadium for the finish. Then..... BAM. Down like a ton of bricks. What?

Every mile of the course had these timing strips across the road. Every strip was within feet of the mile marker. Except the 6th. The 6th was placed about twenty yards past. So after flying through the 6 mile marker, I decided to adjust my phone (which was in the back pocket of my shorts) and BAM, down I go.

Immediately several young gentlemen come to my aid attempting to hoist me from the depths of concrete despair and back into the race (as if we were on the way to a PR or something). Slow down fellas! I can handle this. Anyway, slightly bleeding and a little embarrassed, I finished the task.

SO, bad butt: Strike one. Falling: Strike Two. Well Strike Three was around the three mile mark when I was forced, for the first time EVER in a race, to make a porta potty pit stop. Enough said.

The next two days of recovery runs were miserable and when combined with a lot of driving to get to classes in Basalt, my butt catapulted into an incredibly worsened state. THAT was when I decided I've had enough. It was see Dr. Carly time. Several dry needles later, I was no better. SO, five days off. Boo.

The upside is that I have an appointment with a Dr. next week and hope to get to the "bottom" of this. Upside number two is that I loosened up enough to run this morning. 7 miles and that run has kept me fairly loose for the day. I hope, as I am 7 1/2 weeks out from the New York Marathon, that I am on the road to recovery. If for no other reason than being tired of wasting big bucks on races I don't run.

Run on.

Running Bucket List? Yeah, I've Still Got One.

June has arrived and the weather has made a change to FABULOUS. Moisture and chilly was much of May (sounded like Yoda said that), but the w...