Races and injuries

Its been 2 weeks since the last post. But if there’s no jogging, there’s no blogging. For a month, I’ve been struggling with the shin splints from hell (it might be more than just splints, who knows). Its a struggle going down the subway stairs the day after a run. I’ve been applying the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) method while wearing calf compression sleeves but it never heals 100%. It’s been the same routine for the past 2 weeks: 6 days no running, kung-fu cross training on Wednesdays, run 11-12 miles on Sunday, the pain returns. Ugh. I’ve come to the conclusion that I overpronate slightly (big toe contacts the ground, other toes hardly do) and my new running sneakers (Mizuno Waverunners 16) are not preventing me from doing so. Going back to the Waverunner 15 sneakers from last year is my only hope.

Why did I run these past 2 Sundays? Well, I raced.

Off to the races:
City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4 Miler @ Central Park
April 21st, 2013. 37 degrees (cold for spring)
6,227 finishers
Results: 7:56 pace, 1605 place, 74% percentile, (C)


This one was dedicated to Boston. Most runners either wore the “I run for Boston” back bibs or the Boston shirts. We all had a moment of silence prior to the race. New York City knows all about going through such events. After an emotional Star Spangled banner, it was race time. My legs felt great until running 7:30 speed at mile 2. Damn, just when I thought my legs were totally cured. I’m surprised I pulled off a sub-8 pace overall though.

Ha, looks like I’m pointing at my bib number.

When the fists become knife hands, you know it’s the 100 meter dash to the finish line.

So, a choice had to made since 4 miles did not satisfy me. Take the subway home or … run home. My right calf wasn’t doing so well after the race so I decided to just run across the Queens borough bridge as an experiment. Once in Queens, my legs weren’t that bad. Perhaps running home is a possibility after all. “Home” was only a straight 10K down Queens Blvd. How could a wolf resist? There is nothing like the feeling of running freely in the streets. The mind is totally at peace and relaxed as you gaze forward and pass neighborhoods by, while the body is exhausted and calfs feel like they will explode. So yea, I got high on running followed by a shin splint hangover. And just like an addict, I did it again a week later.

Off to the races – 2:
Run as One 4 Miler @ Central Park
April 28th, 2013. 55 degrees (and reached 70 in a few hours)
6,998 finishers
Results: 8:26 pace, 2488 place, 65% percentile, (D)

It was the same ol loop around Central Park followed by the same route home. The main difference was the 70 degree weather. A nice sunny day, and a sweaty Jon. Its time to get used to running in the hotter weather and hydrating more often.

Training Report:
Not much to report unfortunately

RunDate Distance Pace Comments
Apr 21 Sunday 6.47 8:28 After taking 6 days off and shin splints
Apr 28 Sunday 6.26 9:15 Yikes, its time to change those sneakers

Speed Jams (tunes to run that sub 8 min/mile pace):
I find that Dancehall Reggae can have the ideal number of beats per minute for my running rhythm (170-180 bpm). A “riddim” is a compilation of songs by various reggae artists to a particular instrumental background. Here are quite a few taken from my Spotify list:

    Liquid riddim, Diwali riddim, Bookshelf riddim, Buzz riddim
    Love Salute riddim, Peenie Wallie riddim, Bubble up riddim, Contra riddim
    Full Charge riddim , Over proof (Soca) riddim, Street Swag riddim, Winnings riddim

Random Thoughts
Injuries suck so bad. If you run, then you risk further injury. If you don’t run, you risk fitness and performance. So frustrating. The infamous NYRR Brooklyn Half marathon is in 3 weeks. My winter training is starting to suffer due to all this time off during April. All I wanted was a 1:50:00 half marathon. The chances of that happening are slim. Additionally, NYC marathon training starts right after. Perhaps I’m lucky that the injuries occurred now and not in October.

6 thoughts on “Races and injuries

  1. Dominick S. April 30, 2013 / 3:14 pm

    Rest! Make sure you are 100% come July when NYC marathon training kicks in. My advice would be to do some low impact training if you have options available to you like Yoga, Pilates, Swimming or Cycling. They will keep you in shape, strengthen you and allow your shins to recover, which is primarily an overuse injury if I understand it correctly. Also, maybe ease yourself back into distances, I know 6 miles doesnt seem like much to you because you know you can crush it when healthy but maybe knock down the runs to about 3 miles and then see how it feels going down the subway stairs…no pain, then bump it up? I am dealing with an injury as well, its hard to not run, but at the same time I am keeping busy and trying to let my legs heal…today is my second test run to see where I am at. Good luck!

    • sephiroth796 May 1, 2013 / 8:02 am

      Thanks man. Reducing the mileage is next on the list; a 5K maximum per session, and 1 or 2 sessions per week maximum. I’m thinking frequency instead of distance for the next 2-3 weeks. What kind of injury do you have? My main concern was not being able to maintain my progress, but it might have to be sacrificed for the greater good. It might only take a month to get back to the level of fitness where I left off anyway. Must be patient, but not so easy.

      • Dominick S. May 1, 2013 / 1:27 pm

        I am not sure what is going on…I ran a relay a week and a half ago in which I totaled 21.5 miles over 3 separate legs in under 22 hours and I gave it my all. I was sick and exhausted for numerous reasons but felt great when I finished my last run all things being considered…then about an hour after that, my right knee was stiff and it hurt to step down a curb. I figure I strained my LCL but I am not sure because I have never had a knee problem. I don’t think it is anything serious but I am being cautious anyway. I ran some hills last night and it feels tired but not any worse for the wear. I may take it easy the rest of this week and then see how it feels to get back into a normal mileage week.

        As far as progress, if you can cross train, you won’t lose much ground at all, even if its just push ups and sit ups with some cardio. Just don’t let yourself become lazy because you can’t run, that is the hard part. Just remember, your body won’t need too long to catch back up, maybe a week or two at most and heck, it may even jump right back into the groove considering your muscles probably need the rest across the board.

      • sephiroth796 May 2, 2013 / 1:56 pm

        Dude, right on. I trained martial arts for years and never really injured myself through all of the jump kicks and flips. But I start running and then the injuries roll in every few months. I recall having an issue with my knee 2 years ago; it felt like my leg and thigh would disconnect at the joint sometimes, wierd.

        I’ve been cross training and contemplating stair workouts this week (50-100 flights) to maintain the cardio. I really hope you’re right about continuing where I left off in regards to the runnning. It would suck big time if my best pace is 30-60 seconds slower per mile as a result. That’s a whole year’s worth of progress right there. May the Gods of running cure us quickly. And the worst thing is that the weather is perfect right now, not too hot or cold. I guess we are destined to sweat it out this summer.

  2. PDX Running Chick April 30, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    I say this in my kindest “mother” voice…. Quit running Jon! Dont hurt yourself more! You could do serious damage and not be able to run whats really important to you! You have trained hard for the last year, a month of no running will not hurt you like you think. Do something else for a few weeks before you run, and then run short and gradually build up distance to make sure your good. A week between runs is not enough to heal… Sending shin-splint free thoughts your way!

    • sephiroth796 May 1, 2013 / 8:11 am

      Lol, mother. You’re right though, my approach these last 2 weeks didn’t solve anything. I usually make all possible mistakes before I truly learn (the hard way). And yes, there is no other choice than to have 2-3 weeks of hardly no physical activity to finally heal properly. My posts can then be more interesting ;). As always, thanks for your advice. We’ll see what happens in 2 weeks.

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