Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sports hernia? Strain?

It's been awhile, I've got some other stuff to post, from visiting WI and other runs around here...but wanted to get this out there in case there's any advice...

Started having some lower abdominal pain after Denver Marathon 2 weeks ago. Felt like an acceptable level of "good" pain -- sore muscles -- didn't think much of it. I guess some low-level of pain was there on and off since then, but I kept running. Didn't really hurt while running, wouldn't have thought much of it...Until I did some track work last Wednesday. That actually didn't hurt either, but later that night, or the next day, it occurred to me that it hurts in one specific spot, at the bottom of my lower ab on my right side, just inside the point part of the pelvic bone. (You could argue that I previously had a slightly cranky hip and other imbalances that contributed to it, but unless you had a time machine, that wouldn't be useful advice -- and if you DID have a time machine, then we should be doing other fun things with it).

If I sneeze, it hurts. If I cough, it kinda hurts. It's not unbearable though. I stopped running as of last Wednesday (OK, I do a test jog for 5-10 seconds every once in awhile just to verify "It doesn't really hurt while running") Missed BBMM, something I was very much looking forward to all month. Mainly doing a situp or a leg raise feels like a "bad thing" which I shouldn't do. But, it also doesn't feel like a massageable, "good" pain like after a hard ab workout...and it's not going away by itself. There is no bulge or lower pelvic pain as in a classic inguinal hernia.

Any experience or suggestions here? Probably will see a doctor soon -- first time outside of urgent care in years! Gawd, I don't want a long, drawn-out process. If that's what it is, the first "conservative treatment" is basically months of doing nothing, and that hardly ever works, so you get surgery anyway. But if you just did activities that whole time, you probably won't make it much worse, until you can't take it anymore and get surgery anyway. Ugh. Not looking for a pity party, I'm in denial and hoping it's "something else." Each morning I wake up and really hope that it went away overnight, it's still "only" 2 weeks (or less than a week since it got worse) so there's still time for it to improve with rest. Any other magic answers?

EDIT: PT friend says abdominal strain, should get better in 2-3 weeks, OK to be active but below pain threshold. She was right about my knee so fingers crossed!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Draining a blood blister

Not for the squeamish, especially if you don't like blood or needles, or both.
But if you enjoy medical curiosities, kinda cool when it changed color at the end.
Just in time for Halloween!

(PS: Thanks Alex for the syringe and suggestion!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Denver Rock and Roll

Inaugural Rock and Roll Marathon in Denver.

J & Tammy with their bling:

J & Mara:

Had a fun time with friends on a gorgeous fall day in Denver. Nice and chilly to start, warmed up towards the end. J, Tammy, and Mara ran the half, and friend Nora graciously volunteered for the day, while my friends Alex and Will ran the full. Also saw my friend Ray from HP coming through the park, didn't know he was running, and he ended up with a great PR.

I didn't know what to expect heading in. I signed up since we were moving to Denver, other people were doing it, and hadn't done a road marathon since Boston last year. I thought with the Lean Horse training, it would either be a great idea, or a horrible idea. Turns out it was just a middling idea. All the miles helped to get 'er done, but lack of specificity for the marathon made it less than I know what I'm capable of. Still, I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for around 3 hours, a barrier I've never broken in the marathon.

And still haven't, at 3:03:57. Oh well. It is a PR, and I can't feel too disappointed: I worked pretty hard to qualify for Boston a few years ago and just barely did it. Now it's kind of a default when I'm healthy, and even though I know much faster people, I can't take what I have for granted, ever. I lost those 4 minutes in the last 5 miles, but I know what I need to do to pick it up. Maybe getting at racing weight and/or an easier course would be enough, but certainly just putting in the work is really what I would need. I would like to do that, but I also really prefer the trails!

But it was a fun time. Another neat aspect of the 100M training, as Alex pointed out, is how fast, psychologically, a marathon goes by now. Right now an hour is a third of the race -- a 100M might be an hour to the next aid station, and there's 20 of 'em!

Back to Denver: the RnR series is sleek and run like a machine for the most part. I didn't hear all that much music though. The course is a fairly scenic tour of Denver, with the best spots being in the beginning and end, in my opinion. The parks are OK but have a lot of looping. The worst section was the Bridge of Death between miles 23 and 24: enough said if you ran it.

So I experimented with some racing flats for the first time, these bad boys:

They (Brooks Green Silence) deserve a separate review. I was and still am excited about these shoes, both in concept and execution, but I did have some blister issues. But, I only ran in them 3 times prior (couple 12-13 milers and a 3 miler), I did feel a pressure point in one foot. However, that is where I had a slight blister/callous from Lean Horse, which had a little bit of tender skin. Wasn't holding me back any, until today:

Whah! Actually didn't really slow me down or affect my gait, just something I could feel. Wish I had better results on these shoes for advertising purposes (though maybe, and likely, I would have been slower in trainers), but I do feel like they held up well for the duration and I'm going to keep them around for racing and speedwork.

On the way home, had a great time stopping for breakfast/lunch at Pete's Kitchen:

Finally got to try this iconic, 24-hour greasy spoon. The coffee was weak and bland, but the service was quick and the food was deliciously unhealthy: exactly what we wanted!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Denver Taper

2 days out from Denver marathon, had a textbook taper day:
No running, lots of eating, 2 hour nap.

Stopped drinking beer for the week, even though it's Isolation season.

I've done everything I can...except for training effectively and intelligently. Whoops!
I crammed some specificity in the last few weeks. Short distance speed is 'meh'...endurance seems OK but hasn't been tested...middle distance speed is OK. But I'm heavier than any marathon in awhile, gained a few pounds right after Lean (sic) Horse. C'est la vie. It'll be a fun time with friends and bands. Never did a Rock 'n Roll before, J and friends have enjoyed them, and I do enjoy a little energy from the crowds.

I won't lie, though: I will also try to get it over with as soon as possible.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jogger goes over Minneapolis street barrier, falls to death

Very sad Strib story about a man that fell to his death during a run in Minneapolis.

I guess he grew up and went to school there, then was home (from Alaska) visiting family. A family member dropped him off somewhere so he could go for a random jog. He came up some stairs from the Cedar Lake trail rec path onto a road overpass, then crossed the road to get to where he thought was a part of the trail. He hopped over a Jersey barrier
(these things)

...thinking he could see the trail on the other side, but not knowing there was a gap of empty space on the other side.

The article could use a picture, but based on the info, I'm guessing it was

View Large Zoomed-in Map.

Note that the East side of the road has a sidewalk alongside the bridge, while the West side has a very neat non-motorized bridge -- separated by a small but deep gap. An oddly assymetric design.

I know a 'normal' person might think this is kind of strange, but I can totally see doing this myself. Very tragic.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"12 and Holding"

Mother: "Can you imagine me running a marathon?"
Leonard: "You just have to run to the end of the block. It's not as hard as you think it is."
Mother: "Easy for you to say."
Leonard: "No. It's not."

I've been tempted to do many movie and book reviews in the past, and enjoy other peoples' reviews, but for now have an arbitrary "theme" with the Blog so I keep it to certain topics, for now. I watch a fair number of Netflix "Watch Instantly" films, which is an interesting and underappreciated phenomenon in movie watching: it was one thing when Netflix came out as a lifesaving option to the crap that Blockbuster kept stocked, and for the last year or two the "Watch Instantly" selection has been an interesting mix of even more obscure films (since distribution and advertising are largely mitigated) that require little commitment to check out the first few minutes to see if you like it.

I'll make a brief mention of "12 and Holding" here because one of the subplots has an interesting tie into running. There is a short, general consensus on "Top Ten Running Movies" because there's about exactly 10 of them (couple Pre ones, some docs, award winners like "Chariots of Fire" and some recent humorous/somewhat campy ones like "Saint Ralph" and "Run, Fatboy, Run"...)

But then there's another list where a small but integral part of the movie has an activity like biking or running. Por ejemplo, I would throw out some ideas like this:

* "Forrest Gump" running scene
* "Donnie Darko" intro (slow-mo biking to INXS)
* "Goonies" bike scenes (the kids going to the beach...or Brandon going for a ride)
* "Back to the Future" skateboarding

In a way, those small parts of a better movie end up having more of an impact than an entire movie about the topic.

The quotes above for the running section are somewhat over the top, but I still thought the relationship between the "fat kid" and his mom ended up being pretty inspiring. Way more than Saint Ralph!

Anyway, "12 and Holding" is a hidden gem, if you ask me. Kind of a "Wonder Years", "Goonies", "The Sandlot", "My Girl" feeling of nostalgia and pre-teen angst, albeit darker and more disturbing. Some of the acting is uneven, especially and unfortunately both the lead male protagonist and antagonist (although things get much better toward the climax), but the lead girl, Zoe Weizenbaum, is absolutely phenomenal; and I went to see "The Town" partly because of how impressed I was with Jeremy Renner. I'm not giving too much away by saying there are multiple sub-plots with each of the kids, each one going farther and deeper than you'd think.

And, you'll never think of eating an apple the same way again.