Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Blog About Running...Again

Long Beach City College - Veterans Memorial Stadium
About 3 weeks ago, I shared on social media that I did my longest run in years when I managed to finish an hour and 12 minutes which covered 6 miles and a pace of 12:01 minutes per mile. That was a proud moment for me since I haven't been able to run in recent years due to my permanent ankle injuries made worst by myalgia or pain on both my thighs caused by cholesterol medications. This often resulted in strained thigh muscles whenever I tried to run longer or if I increased my pace. My doctor has since discontinued my cholesterol medication for the past 3 months and prescribed the over the counter supplement called Omega 3-6-9 complex. We are going to re-evaluate this strategy on my next physical exam this coming October. As a result, my pain in my thighs have diminished. I can't do anything about the PTTD (posterior tibial tendon dysfunction) in my ankles because they are permanent injuries other than limiting my mileage and not try to push off my ankles to pick up the pace. Thus, I've had to make changes in my stride which makes it feel unnatural for me, namely, shortening it and keeping my feet lower to the ground to lessen the impact. Anyone who has run with me in the past know how noisy my natural stride is. Maybe nowadays they won't hear it as much due to the stride adjustment and the cushioned shoes. This has enabled me to run about twice a week the past couple of months with lots of recovery days in between runs. To take care of my thighs, I've been using a rolling pin to massage them and it seems to help.
Running at the Dominguez Gap
I haven't written about running in a while, years even maybe. Neither have I shared restarting it because I hate to jinx myself by getting reinjured and stopping again. But here I am writing about it and hoping that I can stay consistent without getting injured, even if it means just running twice a week.
I also reconnected with my former running partner Katherine, a neighbor whom I used to train for marathons with years ago. We have been running once a week from her house to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach City College. She would do repeats on the stadium steps while I jogged around the track, and the last time we were there, I managed to do 8 repetitions of walking up and down the steps. We were going to do the same thing today (June 23rd) but when we got there, a sign was posted saying that the stadium and track would be closed for maintenance and renovation for the next two months.

Katherine suggested that we run all the way to the Campfire Girls Lodge on the corner of Carson Street and Los Coyotes Diagonal. I said "what!?" my legs can't take me that far and still run back home! I said, why don't we try making it to the next intersection first (Clark Avenue) and then the next one, and the next one, then I'll tell her if I give up and ask to turn around. Well, we made it all the way to the lodge in 50 minutes so that meant that we had at least another 50 minutes of running to get back home, and I was already plodding before that. Remember, my longest run was an hour and 12 minutes and that really exhausted me. Oh my, what have I gotten myself into? With Katherine pulling me and me willing myself to reach the next intersection with hopes that we would hit a stop light, I kept plodding along which felt like I was running about a 12:30 per mile pace. A couple of weeks prior, I did a solo run which covered 5 miles at a pace of 11:31 and that was really pushing it based on my reduced stride and aerobic capacity.

I finally told Katherine that I was going to stop running when we reach an hour and a half then walk back the rest of the way, while she kept on running. When my watch ticked 1:30, I started walking and Katherine was nice enough to walk with me the rest of the way. After 12 minutes of walking, we made it back to her house. My goodness, that was only 2 minutes over our anticipated finishing time of 1:40! Did we manage a negative split up to the one hour and 30 minute mark despite what felt like a much slower pace going back home? Katherine said it was a 9 mile out and back course so I entered our time and distance on a running calculator and it spit out the results: 11:20 minutes per mile pace. What!? That even included the last 12 minutes of walking in the equation.

After the 1:12 run several weeks ago, my next goal would have been 1:15 or 1:20 to see if my legs hold up, so it was a shock to the system to go 1:30 suddenly. Hours after the run, my legs still feel ok although I expect them to be sore for a few days. I'll be doing the rolling pin massage as soon as I finish typing this. Wish me luck with hopes that I may be able to continue doing this exercise without further catastrophic injuries. This mainly means practicing self control because I tend to overdo it, hahaha!

BTW, Katherine can still probably push an 8:00 to 8:30 pace if she wanted to, so I was really thankful for her running ahead and pulling me all the way and talking to keep my mind off my heavy legs and heavy breathing :D

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