Saturday, July 17, 2010

Running Pain Free

Well it has been a few months now since my leg started to bother me. It started one day while swimming. It then progressed into a problem while running. This put me behind in all the training I had wanted to do to get ready for a full season of Duathlons and Runs. Now I did manage to compete in most of the events that I had hoped to, but with a lack of training I was probably not at my best. I am happy to say that all of my training from before the knee/leg issues must have been good as my results were still pretty darn good.

Anyway, I eventually found a good doctor (Dr Jason Gray) who specializes in sports medicine (he is a Chiropractor) and specifically ART (Active Release Technique). We assessed that my issue was a very tight group of muscles in my hamstrings and calf on my left leg. This in turn led to my ankle turning funny and causing knee pain.

Now not being a patient guy I began to wonder if this was going to work after a few treatments. My knee would still pain after a run, and be very tight at other times. But I kept the treatments up as well as the stretching and strength exercises. Now about a month and a half after I started seeing Dr Gray, I can say that i am running pain free. Things aren’t 100% in my left leg, but they are much better and without the tightness and pain I was having.

Today I managed a 7K run in some nasty humidity with an average pace of 5min per K (I started out a bit faster but faded near the end). I am happy with that as it is fairly close to where I left off when I was last training. This is now a good place to get some base mileage back into my legs and then work on getting some speed (and endurance) back.

It certainly is nice to know a little more about the mechanics of running now, and with my new stretching regime, I anticipate years more of pain free running (well sore muscles after a good hard run are okay).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spinachers Ride the Heartland Tour

The Heartland Tour made its Halifax stop this past Saturday (July 10th). So the Spinachers Team had to show up and take part. Donning our impressive jerseys we split into 2 groups depending on our ride choice. A 27.5km ride to Purcell's Cove or the mammoth 96km ride from the Halifax Commons to Peggy's Cove. My wife joined in with those opting for the Purcell's Cove ride, partly as 96kms was a crazy distance for her, but also so she could sleep in a bit longer. I opted to join in the longer ride that began at 8am (ish).

We started as a group and headed to the Roundabout to begin our ride. A police escort out of town made life rather easy. Being near the lead I decided to stretch the legs a bit and zoom up the Bay Rd hill leading to the start of the Peggy's Cove Loop. That felt nice and I gave myself an imaginary Polka Dot jersey for my effort (also that was probably the biggest hill on the ride). As a group David's son Jeff and I decided to go for a breakaway lead, the rest of the team (David, Ross and Fred) all kept to the main peleton (or long string of riders as it were). Eventually Jeff and I were riding alone, having dropped our rivals (sure this was a friendly ride, sure) during some rollers. Actually dropping those other riders with us was a mistake as I thought I was supposed to be hammering through those hills. Luckily for me Jeff is a darn strong rider.

Eventually the 2 of us arrived at Peggy's Cove and proceeded to wait for the rest of the Tour riders. Perhaps that was too long of a wait in retrospect, we were there for over 30 minutes in the cold damp fog and occasional drizzle. But we had some food and drink and eventually took off as other riders were starting to leave to head back to Halifax.

I stuck to Jeff on the way back, jumping from one slow group of riders to the next until we met with a good strong lead pack. We hammered with them for quite awhile, eventually though my lack of mileage this year started to catch up. As I dropped from the lead of the pace line I couldn't quite stick to the last rider int he group and fell off, though I was still amazed that I continued riding at 37kph until I eventually caught them as they stopped to let some other riders catch on. My goodness, they were going fast as a group.

At this point as riders took off again we all pretty much fell into smaller groups or single riders as our legs were at various degrees of ouchiness. Mine in particular were running very low on steam. I lost Jeff pretty quickly as he sped away. I kept my speed up but would occasionally be passed by a few riders here or there until I eventually made it back into town and could have a proper rest and some good food provided to us for free. That was nice, especially the crepes and chocolate milk.

Including my ride to the commons to start the event, I logged 107 kms that day. That was nice. I managed a pace of 30.6kph on avg, which included a very slow meander through town to start, so overall I was pretty happy, and really only a few minutes behind the first group to finish.

I was sad that my cadence really dropped near the end and my average was 82. I really hopped to be able to keep that higher, but again my lack of riding any real distance this year hit me hard near the end.

All in all a really great ride, with a lot of Tri NS members taking part, which was great to see.

Hopefully this ride continues next year and grows in size. And a big congrats to my wife for her solo epic adventure to Purcell's Cove. I look forward to longer rides with her int he near future as well.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bedford 5K 2010

Well, I was waiting to post about this race hoping that some photos of the even might pop up. But alas, nothing so far. I know they exist as I chatted with Trevor Allen the photographer and saw some great shots. But people get busy and I decided not to wait any longer.

Anyway this was the Bedford 5K to raise money for Lung Cancer research hosted by my friend Jean St.Amand. It is a great event and my second year attending. I had contemplated not going due to my knee and this being a short fast race, but in the end it being for charity, the weather being nice and me wanting to defend my 7th place finish from last year won out.

I arrived rather early as I had not yet registered and didn't want to wain in any sort of line. After registering I decided to walk the course as last year I had no clue where I was going and missed a corner (though I penalized myself for doing so by letting the people behind me pass rather easily). The course was the same and was nice and flat. For once, I actually planned a strategy as well, while I sat and waited for the race to start.

At the line I took off with a few people and true to form I started at the pace of the leaders. I hung in there for a bit (most of the first kilometer) and then knee pain kicked in. Ouch that hurt. So I pulled back to a better pace and a few people passed me by. I let them go and continued on, think to myself that it was only 5K and it would all be over very soon.

I found that by the 3K mark I was still on the heels of a few people that had passed me. So I picked up my pace a bit. And the next thing I knew I passed a couple of people. I then drafted in behind a few more fast people and managed to sneak by them as well.

With no one else in front of me (at least people I could see) I know had to fight to keep my placing. I ran the absolute straightest line I could, as corners and knee pain always meet. I got through the final corner without looking back and saw the finish line ahead. So I picked up the pace again, not wishing to get passed and not knowing where anyone else was. I cruised through the finish line in a  time of 20:26.That was good enough for another 7th place, though almost 40 seconds slower than last years time. Still I was happy. And hot. i think one reason I was a bit slower was the sheer humidity of the day. The air was truly thick. Last year was misty and cool, a lovely running day.

Anyway, no races for a bit. the leg/knee issue is being worked on and I hope to be back to full strength soon.At least I can ride my bike to work for now to keep my cardio up.