Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My shins hurt

Ive done what I thought were the right things. Increased my mileage slowly, no speed work, kept off pavement and asphalt, iced my legs after almost every run, yet my left shin aches. Its not a serious pain mind you, but when you have had this problem before, any pain makes you take notice. I have taken a couple days off so far, done extra stretching, and it feels a little better. I think I will run a couple easy miles (with my fingers crossed), just to see how it feels.

Happy New Year !!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rediscover the Joys of trail running

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed off road running. Dodging limbs, pine cones and mud, instead of cars and trucks. Just me and the ducks,geese, and rabbits. Though I haven't seen any, there is even a sign that says beware of alligators.
I had forgotten how fast time flys when you are concentrating on each step. And no looking over my shoulder to make sure some nut driving 50 mph through the neighborhood is about to hit me.
Though I'm sure I will be pounding the pavement again, I will definitely be looking forward to my jaunts around the lake.
above is a picture I took just off the trail.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moonlight Run

Because of crazy hours at work right now, I have been relegated to a nocturnal runner. I actually have done most of my running in the past at night. It was usually to escape the summer heat in South Carolina. Believe it or not, I have bought some cool weather running cloths. Running tights, gloves, and a beany. It has been kinda nice, no cars to dodge, didnt even see any dogs. Some folks still had their Christmas lights on, that was a nice touch. Midnight running, not so bad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Changing running gait

Im about half through reading the “Chi Running” book.. Though I don’t think I will ever completely become a ,“Chi” runner, I do think practicing some of the techniques will make me a better runner. I think most of the concepts revolve around sound running techniques, though I sure there are plenty of experienced runners who would disagree. I believe concentrating on better posture and relaxation have made me a better runner.

As someone who has to battle with lower leg pain constantly, I was intrigued by the promise of running injury free. I said what the heck, I will give it a try. So, as I write this, I’m about half finished the book, and have, sorta half hearted, tried to incorporate some of the techniques. Mostly, the ones about posture, and relaxation. As a lifelong hill striker, Im not sure I will ever convert to forefoot running.

One section of the book has really gotten my curiosity up. The book claims that a runner can correct over pronation by making a conscious effort to do so. Can this really be true? I was under the impression that it was something that could be helped by stretching, exercise, and using proper footwear.

Can someone really change the way they run? I thought why not. Most golfers spend there entire life trying to perfect their golf swing. Heck, even Tiger Woods, the most dominate golfer ever, completely changed his golf swing, after having much success on tour. Im sure we are limited somewhat by what we have to work with. But I think some changes are possible and needed.

I began doing some research on the subject, and found some interesting stuff. More than seven out of 10 runners will sustain an injury over the course of a year, many of these injuries preventable without any adverse effects on running distance or performance, according to Dr. Irene Davis, director of the Running Injury Lab at the University of Delaware, and director of Research for Drayer Physical Therapy Institute.

In earlier studies, Dr. Davis identified the specific gait mechanics associated with common injuries. Now, in a study reported at the Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, DC, she explains how she successfully retrained runners to change their faulty gaits in eight half hour sessions, reducing leg shock by 50 percent and completely eliminating pain under the kneecap.

Dr. Davis's earlier gait mechanics research had found that individuals with tibial stress fractures tend to land harder when each foot hits the ground, and in fact about half of the at-risk runners who have completed the study so far already had experienced microfractures. During their retraining sessions, the runners wore a shock measuring device on their lower legs while they ran on a tread mill. A monitor on the front of the treadmill showed the force of each footstrike measured against a line of what a normal, healthy footstrike should look like. The runners' task was to constantly adjust the force with which each of their own feet hit the ground to keep it at or below the line on the screen.

With this feedback, all runners immediately were able to modify the hardness of their footstrike to meet the desired level, but all reported that the softer footstrike level did not "feel normal." By the end of the eighth session, however, even when they were receiving relatively little feedback, all runners had adjusted the force of their footstrike by half. Furthermore, they reported that they found the new gait now felt more normal.

So im gonna give it a try. I will keep you updated on how it works out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just a boring update

Yes I have been running, a little. Actually this is by design, as I try to build mileage and overcome shin splints. I have been adhering to the 10 percent rule and then some. I ran about 20 miles the past two weeks. It doesn't sound like much, but my legs do appear to be feeling better, so I will be slooooowly increasing mileage.

I have not worked in a few days, and I am more convinced now that being on my feet for 12 hrs, is the main culprit to my foot and leg pain. Thus, I will be getting new work shoes this week.

Just because I like structure, I have decided to follow Hal Higdons spring training for my mileage buildup. I know its not spring, but this is South Carolina. Winters are mild compared to most parts of the country, so I wont use cold as an excuse not to run. I may use lazy however !

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm not really sure why I wanted a blog. I just thought it might be a good way to record my runs. Kinda like an extended running journal. I thought it might be cool to come back a year or two from now and read these. Then I began thinking, why just limit it to running. I also love photography, why not combine the two, or any others. Hey its my blog ,and its not like anybody else is going to be reading this, right ? So I guess I will try to keep track of my runs and throw in a few picts, and anything else I want to talk about. Just see how this thing evolves.
I guess I need to give a little history about my running. I started running about 20 years ago, though I never did any real training. I mostly ran for the fun of it, and for my health. I did run a race every once in a while, just for the fun of it. Then about 6 years ago, I decided I would like to try to run a marathon. I had my eyes on Myrtle Beach. For the first time I followed a training program. I was well into the training, feeling good about it, running about 50 miles a week. Then one night while out on a run, I stepped off the edge of the road and into a hole. I hurt my ankle severely. I could barely walk for weeks, couldn't even think about running. So no marathon for me. I pretty much gave up running for 4 years. I did continue to go to the gym and managed to stay in pretty good shape.
I have been running again now for a few months. I feel really good aerobically, however my legs haven't been able to keep up. I have been dealing with shin splints, knee pain and planter fasciitis. So I will continue to take it slow and build my mileage.
The above picture is of Lake Wallace. Its about a block from home and where I do most of my running. It works out great as I try to stay off the pavement as much as possible.