Monday, September 24, 2007

The road to recovery...Pt 10 (Plans, schedules & A-OKs)

Well there’s a bit to write about my recovery. I saw my PT last Friday and she has now cut down my sessions to only one a week. I do a lot of the therapy at home now as fortunately it only involves a swissball, some ankle weights and a few other things that are commonly found about the house; steps, walls etc. My IT Band is no longer the taught guitar string that it was 2 months ago and I can happy roll on the black Ninja Foam Roller of Death pain free! Previously I left with my PT my proposed training schedule which would allow me to back into the Leona Divide 50 miler which is tentatively scheduled for April 19. The training schedule is a 24 week plus two week taper and has been developed by Hal Higdon, my friend and fellow aspiring ultra runner (she actually has a 50k notch on her belt already) Monk_ Monkey pointed it out to me and she has been using it to good effect leading up to her 50 miler, the Autumn Leaves in November. I also left a list of races that I will incorporate into the schedule which also got the green light, so now I have a Winter racing schedule as well.

This weekends activities got of to a bad start mostly due to a very broken nights sleep care of my son who is having a few sleep issues (read; does not want to) at the moment, my left thigh was sore, it had been pouring with rain all night (the first rain since March!) and there was quite a lot of flooding where I lived. We were also having some friends round on Saturday for a BBQ and I needed to prep everything; so a management decision was made to delay Saturday’s run to Sunday.

Sunday the alarm went off nice and early:4:10am and I started my stretching routine as per usual, I headed out the door a little after 5:00am, yes I stretch that much now, and was off. Legs felt good, right thigh was quiet, knees were solid, orthitics were comfortable, new Asics Kayano’s as comfortable as my slippers, (hell I’m 40 I can wear slippers!), Forerunner was on, iPod/Nike+ was on; tracklist teed up, and I was off.

Watching the sun rise as you run is a great feeling, the rain had washed all the, well, quite frankly; crap from the air, everything was fresh, clean and sparkly. The first hour flew by and I reached my first turn around, had a gel and a squirt of Accelerade and took a quick system check on knees etc, everything A-OK, so I set off again. The next hour saw me winding my way back through the residential streets of West Hills, traffic was minimal and I was starting to see a few more die-hard early bird runners and cyclists who nearly always acknowledge a kindred spirit. Two hours in and I had another gel and ran another system check; again everything A-OK. At this point I had covered just under 15 miles, nothing spectacular pace-wise but from a distance standpoint this was the furthest I had been since the end of June on my new and improved knees. I had been given the OK by my PT to push out as far as 16.5 miles this weekend and I now found myself about 2 miles from home. As discretion is always the better part of valor I about faced and headed back home. I walked up the hill, two thirds of a mile, to my front door and pressed stop on the Forerunner; 2:46:11 17.35 miles, and all, apart from the typical niggles here and there, pain free.

Lot’s of stretching and refueling and as I write this a little over 24 hours later my legs, knees etc all feel perfect. I have four more weeks of PT to go at which point I start my training schedule and as it stands right now everything is looking very good.

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