Today was my second outing on a bicycle. Not ever, of course. But since I resigned myself that the injury I have is not going away any time soon. It’s not painful. There’s just a lack of confidence, for lack of a better description in some tendon or fascia or something, on the outside of the leg, from the ankle up. It’s weak. I thought it was just a strain. Perhaps it is. Certain it just needs time.
Cycling is weird. My legs are working pretty hard, but my lungs are just cruising along, no problem. I consulted with someone more experienced in such things and he advised more cycling. And, doing intervals to make it more aerobic. This makes a lot of sense, since my legs are not up for long hard rides yet.
This is a classic of example of too much, too soon, too old — after a break of a few weeks, combined with a lack of strength work. The too much section was an intense 3 hills workout, plus some hill bounding up a long asphalt “hill”, somewhere in there was the ankle roll. Then an all-day meditation (!) retreat where I was sitting all day with the legs tucked under, ankles flexed straight behind. Then returning, thinking I was ready, a rocky trail run. I guess I just did in the old ankle.
With a little luck I’ll be up and running in 4-6 weeks.
It’s been quite a while. I’ve been in one of those slumps that sometimes hit post-race, but the race was in May. Around that time things were kind of becoming a little tense with coach, and then, to the astonishment of our running group he stopped showing up at all. Sure we see him in the park from time-to-time, in which case he grits his teeth, mutters things under his breath, “Oh, for goodness sake!” But essentially he seems to have gone AWOL. It is a little confusing, crazy, and sad. So, this is a little more than a post-race slump. There’s some mourning involved, I’m afraid. Not that he might not ever return. But if he did, that would be a different chapter.
In a slump, the running is not automatic. It requires motivation. This is a somewhat alien state affairs for me and requires skills I don’t usually have to apply to running. The running magazine lays on the table, untouched. There is no beet juicing. The mind is not awash in fartlek, long runs, or tallied mileage. What is my mileage?
No one from the group showed up this morning. I took my camera and hiked up two very steep mountain ridges, in the style of the group, taking a few pics here and there. This is out-of-breath, legs go to wobble hiking — no Sunday stroll in the park. Cardio and strength. Half way up the second ridge I was drenched in sweat. I jogged back down the winding trail and down a side trail we call “ankle breaker” (aptly named), watered at the over-pressured fountain, then headed home.
The wife has sweetly produced all kinds of “remedies” as if she were a native-born Californian, in the hope that I might salvage my race on Sunday. It is two days, but this morning the cough seems to have tightened its grip and the throat needs lots of attention. Most likely it will be a choice between running it easy, tentatively, or not at all, which, to be quite frank, sucks ass.
Two days in a row. Now a little stir crazy. But I can feel some sensation in the achilles tendons. I have two pairs of never worn shoes just sitting there ready to go. But rest is good. Maybe I’ll get out early tomorrow in this wind/rain.
Most inspired to hear of a comrade who, after a 41-hour travel period that included 4 hours of sleep, ran the Colchester sprint triathlon this morning. I was meaning to write this about 10 hours ago, entitling it “For Those About to Rock” — but at this point you have already rocked. Still, we salute you! Hail!
I will later sit down and review the video and go to the 100 ups challenge blog. No running today. Just the 100 up, minor. I can still hear the blood pounding in my ears.
An interesting point about the motion. I usually think about my right leg and left arm (and the other pair, too) as working in unison. As I understand it, with the 100 ups, you are initially focussed on the right knee popping up, thus triggering the the right hand to swing back — there’s a kind of unit in play — a different one than I usually think of. Perhaps that contributes?
I won’t be running in the park today, but I will be running around town — in the errands sense. Still, I just did my 100 ups (minor) and continue to be surprised at how aerobic they are. I mean, wow. Perhaps I need to slow down? Yesterday I managed to dig up my (coffee damaged) anatomy book, Running Anatomy by Joe Puleo and Dr. Patrick Milroy, for the express purpose of naming the muscle above the hip that takes on some of the load during the 100 ups.
It turns out, so far as I can make out, that it’s the Tensor Fasciae Latae. This makes sense, as it’s function is assisting the glutes with raising and stabilizing the knee. The wiki quote:
the oblique direction of its fibers enables it to stabilizes the knee in extension (Assist Gluteus Maximus in knee extension).
Honestly, I don’t think I would have guessed the glutes are implicated in knee raises, but this also explains my sense that the glutes were firing more or my awareness of said action increased during my post-100 ups run on Saturday.