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Finishing 2011 strong!

2011 has not been a great running year for me. Sometime in 2010 I started getting nagging pain in my upper right hamstring and in assorted other areas on the right side. I continued to run strong and fast through it though. I remember setting my 10K PR in Dec 2010 and then feeling it all the way home. In February I did not have my greatest day but still ran the surf city marathon fast enough to qualify for Boston. Then in March I ran the Los Angeles Marathon in the rain even faster getting that BQ – 10 minutes qualifier.

In 2011 I only had 1 really great PR race – I set my 5K PR and broke 20 minutes for the first time on my birthday – March 5. Through the summer the aches continued to nag but I continued to run and race. The summer series races were all on different courses so I could not compare with previous years for progress.

In September I got my registration for Boston taken care of and thought to myself. Now is a good time to let myself heal and recover for a few weeks. A few weeks turned into 2 months. The hamstring was still not completely better, but I reached a point were sitting around was having a worse effect on me than running so I started again, easy. Now after not quite two months I have reason for hope for good running in 2012.

I have been working with Clay at Valley Physical Therapy for a while now and my core and backside muscles are becoming much stronger. I can do exercises that I have probably not done in decades! The speed on Tuesday nights is slowly returning though it is not quite back to last spring’s splits yet. The endurance is also coming back.

Today Clay, Dave and I ran 13 miles on the aqueduct. It was perfect running weather. It felt so warm as we were getting started that I left my gloves in the car. Within a couple of mile I took of my extra shirt and tied it around my waist. Each of the last two weeks I was able to run 10 miles without much difficulty but I was not sure about jumping to 13. It turned out to be fine.

It is interesting that when I get fatigued now, I get fatigued differently than in the past. I have always felt it first in the hip adductors (groin area.) When they go I slow noticeably and then other areas like the calves begin to tire. Lately with the hamstring issue, it is typically the first to fatigue (though I no longer experience any specific point discomfort like I used to.) On the first 10 miler, two weeks ago I noticed the adductors and the hamstring fatiguing together. Last week and this week, the fatigue was in the calves and the hamstring – today it was specifically the left calf and right hamstring. I am not saying that either place feels injured, I am just saying that they were the two areas to feel tight and tired. The cool thing about the lack of fatigue in the adductors is that I am able to maintain speed.

Lets look at some totals:
This week = 21 miles (plus tomorrow)
This month = 129.5 miles
2011 = 1208 miles

You can see that the total miles is down quite a bit from the last two years:

Tomorrow 2012 begins with a run! See you at Vasquez Rocks ready to hit the trails at 8:30!

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