Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Progress Report

Today I went to the sports medicine clinic for the first time. My trainer, "Rob" seemed to know what he was doing expertly testing and examining me.

The conclusion (for now): my back is messed up. I knew that, but the MRI showed otherwise. Rob could see the imbalance of muscle on my back. As far as the weak left leg goes: it's not really weak, yet is an inch smaller in circumference. BUT...it does not have good reflexes and shows many signs of nerve blockage. I can strengthen it for now, which will help.

Ultimately the neurological testing will show where the problem lies and how it might be treated. Then, it might be possible to resume normal training if I can get back some of the muscle tone and feeling back. It could also help with the back.

So at least I have a plan. I'll keep with the 4-mile runs until I get going with the therapy. But after that I should be able to train.

Who knows, maybe the absence of pain will motivate me to make a run for another Boston!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My cold weather PR is -29 degrees F. That's the coldest temperature where I was living at the time. I hit it twice, first in Madison, WI in 1/97 and again last winter here in Timmins. I check temperatures a lot when it gets in the extreme range, hot or cold.

This week the record may be shattered. Low temp predictions are for around -35 on Wed. and TH. There's not much you can do when it's that cold. Locals, here in Timmins, might moan a little but they take it in stride...no local sympathy. Obviously there's no running outdoors (it's always windy here as well), so the treadmill will be in full use. And a week ago I was running outdoors in the California sun.

Tomorrow I go to the doc's and get more feedback on what's up. Running on the treadmill seems so my easier on my legs, so the cold won't affect my running. I'm just going 3-5 easy miles/day right now, hoping to get a little stronger.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Will I ever race again?

As an adult, my first race was a 2002 5-miler in a 4th of July festival. It was 90 degrees and I ran it in 42 minutes. My last race was last August in a half-marathon on the trails here in Timmins. I ran it in 1:32, but was hurting the whole race.

Now, I'm hurting when I don't even run. 2008 was a year of high mileage on a bad left leg. I still don't know what the problem is with it, but it's too weak to run on very much.

At 43, in 2003, I shattered all my expectations and BQd for the first of 6 times. It's difficult for me now to imagine the zeal for running I had back then. In Sept, 2003, I ran a sub 38:00 10K and was certain I'd run way under 3:00 in a marathon within a year or so.

At age 48 I ran the highest mileage I'd ever done and my body started breaking down along with my running spirit. By now, I'm just hoping to get my healthy legs back for a racing season. But I know it's iffy.

At the Runner's World site there are so many excited runners in their first 2-3 years of competing. I remember that time well. Running seemed to be all that mattered and I loved it. Everyone deserves the joy I got out of my early years running. It frustrated me to see how troubled some were at not BQing. I don't believe any non-elite runner expects to marathon very well when they first lace up. It's an unfolding of the body's hidden potential.

Have a good running year everyone. I hope I can join you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

UCSB lagoon: I ran here during the 1980s.

When I consider past decisions I've made, one of the curious ones is choosing to leave Santa Barbara, where I did my undergrad and my mom lived for years.

On my trip, I spent a day walking around the town and my old UCSB campus, which is more breathtaking than ever. From the cold, barren tundra to the seaside campus is a contrast hard to comprehend.

Now that I'm back in Timmins I'll try not to think about it.