cycling health running

Thoughts on training…

I am in need of a reset as to my training methodology. A reset taking into count my kind of new reality. The ‘ol leg is telling me we may never be the same again. I do believe that while it may not be the same, it will be as good or better in a different way. The problem statement here, which is pretty obvious I suppose is simply put, “how do we get there?”.

The answer isnt so obvious, at least not to me. I spend a good bit of time researching and staying abreast of training information online, and with friends in the same or similar boats. Getting professional information has been more challenging in the new COVID-19 world reality.

I went to the PCM last week with complaints about my hip, a new type of pain, more of a burning than a sharper pain as I’d become accustomed to it. The response was to send me for an X-ray (which in their defense is the approved first step per my insurance), though this seems to be in direct contraindication to the description I’ve given. Meh, in the end, its a road right. The PA who did my write up asked if she could touch my hip before I left, and she immediately stated “it’s hot”. I said that while I appreciated it, I thought we should keep things professional (😂) which thankfully she found amusing. That being said, she was right, it was hot to the touch, a good 4 or 5 degrees warmer than the tissue around it. So she did some quick tests and decided that I have a sub dermal infection of sorts, in the soft tissue. Not uncommon in post surgical areas, however it has been quite a while since the last cut. The gist was that removal of tissue creates voids internally that invite infection. Thus, I got the broad spectrum anti biotics that destroy your stomach, and I’m feeling in general like someone is laying on me all the time.

I hope to shed the wet blanket feeling in the next few days and get back on the horse with both feet in the stirrups to follow my analogy further down the road. Today is a ride day, with no real goal other than at least 45 minutes of time spent spinning the pedals. I am likely producing a normalized power of like 150 over these rides which hurts me to say, but it’s the reality. So the loose plan I’m following right now is M-W-F Run/Walk, T-Th-Sa Ride. The weekday rides are 45m and 60m respectively with 90m on Saturday. Monday is a run day, roughly 40 minutes overland, Wednesday is a ruck day, and Friday is an hour of running/walking mix. I’ve been riding the cross bike single-track style during the week to build strength and re-true my bike handling skills, with a nice longer pure road ride on Saturday.

This plan hasn’t changed in a bit, but there have been a bunch of setbacks that I’d like to think I might be passed at this point. I’ve kind of accepted the new slow me, and while I dont like it, I can deal with it. I’m treating it in a sense like I’m a rank beginner. A rank beginner with some pretty nice bikes 😂. By going this way I keep my expectations in check, and in a reasonable zone, but I can also flex to accept improvements.

Time will tell I guess.


That felt like running…only slower…

Strava mapJust 2 miles…

Hoka One One Mach

My run last night was pretty hard from an RPE standpoint. My heart rate never went way up, but my legs felt heavy and my form honestly sucked. The whole thing felt very labored and lacking in smoothness. I kept telling myself though that I felt very much the same when I first got back on the bike. The smoothness and ease I was accustomed to wasn’t there, but it came back quickly enough. I think honestly I just went back to back a little too soon, I just felt fatigued. I would pick up a good pace then my legs just didn’t want to lift my feet up, and I would drop my arms and before I even realized it I was shuffling. In hindsight I should have seen that my form was off, and that’s always been a recipe for getting hurt. I seem to have survived unscathed, and I’ll chalk it up to a “return to running” lesson, it has been a while after all.

Body parts.

My knee is troubling me today, I could feel that it was a little stiff during my run last night, but it didn’t seem any worse really than the other two runs, so I kind of disregarded it. This morning it’s hurting along the left front inner side, kind of between my knee cap and shinbones. It’s a little sensitive to the touch there as well. This is in keeping with the bruising I developed a few years ago when I initially injured it, so it’s something to keep an eye on. It hurt a bit more coming down the stairs than when walking on flat ground, and I remember reading something about that being significant with knee injuries. My right calf is more sore than my left, and I think that’s from my leg being stiff when I ran last night, putting more emphasis on that muscle, which is probably contributing overall. I may let it go another couple of days before I run again.

My lower back has been what I would say is best described as “tight” the last few days, maybe ten days overall. It isn’t painful, it just feels like it needs to pop. This is centered right above my left hip, low down on my back, maybe toward where the bottom of my kidney would be. There is a slight twinge that carries from there kind of out to the outside of my hip, and down across my sit bone. Further evidence of the need to ease back into this running thing. I don’t think it’s “injured” I think it’s just letting me know it’s there, and that I should proceed with caution.

I did a little easy yoga both before and after I ran, though afterward was pretty weak, really more of a light stretching session. I focused on my lower back and hips, but I didn’t do any time in the pigeon, which always seems to open up my hips when they are tight. I probably should have.

Tonight is “Mount Field” on TrainerRoad, and I may work in some resistance band time to focus on hip and knee strength before hand to maybe ward off either of these maladies becoming more serious.


So…I ran…

I ran. For the first time in 21 months. I had all but given up the idea of running anymore, and I was really ok with the whole thing, but this last round of surgery ad especially physical therapy was so successful that I started thinking…maybe…

So I waited til I was feeling rather strong, I bought new shoes (Hoka One One, I’m now a believer…) and last night I set out with the idea of running at least two miles but with a stretch goal of three.

Sträva screenshot

I ended up having to do the run-walk-run thing, but I did finish 3 miles. It wasn’t my cardio conditioning that let me down, my right knee was hurting a  bit, as I would have expected it to, and my quads were saying “dude…this is the roughest pedaling you’ve ever done…”. 

The main thing is that I enjoyed it. A lot. I’m cautiously optimistic that I will be able to make it a part of my routine again, and for that I am exceedingly pleased. I’ve always enjoyed running, but hated the process of running. I really enjoy the freedom, and the simplicity compared to the bike, but I hated the way it felt to get to a point where I was well enough conditioned that ever run wasn’t a test of survival. For a large part of my life, running five to ten miles a day was a very normal thing. It’s hard to be a paratrooper and not a runner you know. Once I injured my hip the first time, I started falling behind the curve, and like when you lose the wheel of a faster rider in a race you just start falling further and further behind until you just accept that you’re not going to make it back into the group. Thats very much what it felt like, and then adding to it my subsequent injuries that made it effectively impossible to run until they were surgically repaired, it was just one of things I put on the shelf with the rest of the “can’t do it anymore” things. 

Anyway, it was one run, and it was slow, but I enjoyed it, and I’m actually looking forward to the next one, and I haven’t said that in a very long time.