I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

No pain no gain?

First of all, let me share a couple of pictures from the trip of my boys to coastal Washington. They had a wonderful time, beautiful weather and fantastic views, solitude and time to hang out together and talk, mano-o-mano, growing bond that was missing for a bit.

A sunset of colors that I am jealous of.

Alex enjoying doing nothing in nature setting.

Because of their trip, I was out of weel transportation and ran to and from work on Monday, what put me at 10M at the start of the week.
Tuesday I did an easy 4M in the morning and joined Red Lizards for track workout again. Here the warning coach Rick Lovett released that day on their message board:
Here's the drill: 12 x 400 at L pace. But we'll do them in sets of four. Between elements of each set you get 200m recovery. Between sets you get 400m.
So it goes -
4 x 400 on 200m recovery (don't take any longer than you did on the preceding 400)
400m recovery
Repeat for a total of 12 400s.
Note: don't go too fast. There are a lot of repeats in this, and the first set should feel fairly easy.

So this is what we did after 3 miles of warm up and 2 laps of strides. I always thought I like 400m repeats. Somewhere in the middle I changed my mind. Now I am thinking back. At least I can hold on to it and trick myself into pushing for one lap. My plan was to be close to 1:45 if possible (oh, the memories of past shouldn't guide me anymore). My splits went: 1:36, 1:49, 1:47, 1:48, 1:48, 1:47, 1:49, 1:50, 1:51, 1:52, 1:55, 1:51. What was the idea for the first one? Club has the power, but reduces the brain capacity. I think it was all the talk how the group that night was equal and planning on 1:45s. I peeled myself off after the first interval, and was on my own for the rest of the workout. What different with Red Lizards from VCTC where I used to participate in track "tortures" is that back in The Bronx we would do an interval and then gather together for a recovery to start next one together - thus we were all timed by coach. What is happening here is that we begin the first repeat and then just go as a flow (and the coach runs), timing our own watches. From one point of view, it makes a workout more honest as in recovery periods for faster runners are as short as needed to be and for slower are not as fast as might happen otherwise. At the same time it makes a "club" experience somewhat less profound. I probably wouldn't have stuck for the 12 repeats on my own (or, more like I do stick with what I come up with, but might have not come up with some of the speed workouts the experienced coach does), but I wished I was not as lonely. It was a touch over 8 miles for the night total.

Anyhow, after second set at first my left hamstring went into painful stiffing knots, what by 3rd repeat on 3rd set moved outside of left hip joint - same spot it hurt last Tuesday. The pain is bad (still is today) and localized right outside the joint (outside of greater throchantor) and reminds me my 2 cases of hip bursitis back a long time ago. Both times, when the symptoms developed too far, I had cortizon shots, but rumor is you only can have two of those in a lifetime. My hip (both of them, right to a lesser degree) suffers this type of pain once in awhile during runs and after, but not to extent it hurts today. Doctor Lisa, are you out there? I remember when I had that hamstring injury, the pain was moving to the same place as well, and you mentioned something about gluteus medius and other muscles/tendons around it. I should have saved your email with the links to PT excercises. My hips are my "weak link", the tightest part (pigeon pose in yoga is sado-masochistic), and I do work on it these days. However, as I am ramping up my miles and speed, even sleeping gets uncomfortable (honestly, painful). It is quite bad to getup from the sitting position, bend over or flex at the crease of the hip, as well as stand on left leg (or while walking put pressure on it). The pain from hip radiates to the mid-buttock and alongside the upper (towards the back) onto lower (outside) leg, wraps around ankle and shoots a bit to the top of the foot. It also produces that "buckling-collapsing-weakening" feeling in my lower leg I described a few weeks back. Somehow I think it is all interconnected. My insurance is useless (as are local doctors), and I will work it through myself, once I can distinguish what exactly is that I have. I guess I just need a little "you'll be fine" at this point. Diagnosis would be great. I should have visited Lisa on the way to/from MT as we drove through Spokane.

Adding on a side, I met a fresh convert to trail ultras in a guy who just ran Carlsbad marathon - he signed up for PCT 50k, so we chatted of what he might want to do fro training while warming up. I convinced him to run peterson Ridge Rumble 30k option too:)

On another note, the Race Director choosing process for our local CCC 100M (sorry, the website is not updated yet) has been finalized and the "winner" is Charlie Crissman. He was one of 3 candidates, all of whom are fantastic people and would have done the race awesome service. After last year's fiasco there was a scare this beautiful race would die off, but it ain't happening (yay!), and I am thinking of running it istead of Grand Teton 100 ( Lisa, please don't hate me!). It's close by, no insane driving, lots of crew/pacer options, I know the course (what I do for GT as well), I have many friends running or participating otherwise, it will be cheap and drop dead gorgeous (and hell of a tough one!).

Off to stretch this hip with a yoga session. I love my early quiet mornings!

p.s Couldn't help but post this link for myself of HURT 100M trails - I do want to go there, I do, I just need to figure out the family and money cituation. It definitely looks the kind of sick fun I'd enjoy the memories of.

p.p.s. I looked back and I have my most long-term "relationships" with other bloggers in case of Rob, Thomas, Mike (CA) and Angie. Well, Rob is stuck with me by default:) but I can't believe we have known each other for over a year, guys! Close next are Craig, Michelle, Ben and Donald. Thanks to you, I am still on the 'net typing these things. And care for how your life developes:)


Travis said...

I have not done a track workout since high school, you've inspired me to do so... as soon as the temp is higher then 20. On a side note, I'm thinking about signing up for the PCT 50 miler. It's the same day as a local triathlon that I was looking at. I have to convince my wife to make the trip with me. I think if I can throw the word "spa" in there I might have a deal. :)

Bob Gentile said...

Great Job Olga on your speed work, your times where pretty close to your 1:45 mark..way to go !

I think I am ready after about 2 weeks of NO track work to hit it this weekend, My knee is finally getting back in LINE and BETTER stay that way !!



Backofpack said...

I'm glad to hear CCC is a go and that you might be up. We'll be up there to support, possibly volunteering too. I need to find out what Rob's plans are before I commit to anything. If you need a place to stay, you are welcome here!

Thomas said...

The first repeat sticks out like a sore thumb, after that it does get more civilised - though gradually slower. I guess you should have taken the coach's warning to heart.

As for not sticking to the plan, I don't believe you. You're too stubborn to give up.

OCRunnerGirl said...

Always love your posts. Great job on your speed work. I enjoyed the pictures of HURT. Looks like great fun! Happy Day!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sounds like you triple-trouble, a combination of hamstring, IT band and sciatic nerve. You really, really, absolutely need to stay off of the track. Find somewhere you can do repeats in a straight line. Stop measuring yourself against what you used to do. Also, running on those crowned roads aren't helping you.

These things will destroy you as a runner. Measure yourself by intensity and not time or distance.

Jokingly, I am reminded of all the sayings you quote from Russia. I find them quite interesting to compare them against ones we have here. Do you one in Russia similar to this saying in the US? "You can always tell a Russian, but you can't tell a Russian anything."

Don't let pride and numbers kill your potential.

Wes said...

You are the dungeon master when it comes to speed work! :-) Sorry to hear about your recent pain episodes. Keeeping my fingers crossed that you figure everything out and heal up quick.

Jamie said...

Great job with the track. Can't type more right now. My cat is attacking my hands when I typ.e

Runningdoctor said...

Hey Olga, you can certainly get more than 2 steroid injections in a lifetime. The limit is two to three per year, depending on location.

You need to find a good sports medicine doctor and he will hopefulyl refer you to a sports medicine PT clinic.

DawnB said...

Good job on the speed torwards the end that look like my splits. I very rarely slip below 1:50 for 400's. sorry you got hurt.

Olga there is only one temp gauge I look at only F i'm not even sure what the c means!!:) so if c is worst that f then maybe I should start dressing according to c?

angie's pink fuzzy said...

I know; a year! I've been surprised by reading other bloggers' birthday posts - I can't believe I've made it through two years of peoples' birthdays!

Can't wait to see you in April. I am so looking forward to it. We are going to have so much fun! I still have my russian keychain, she is a lucky talisman for me :)

Hope the hip pain gets identified and fixed right quick.

Bob Gentile said...

Olga SORRY but you have BEEN Tagged, see my blog for details...Not that bad after you read mine and some of the others :-)

Lisa B said...

Hey Girlie,

Dang injuries suck, don't they? I know just how much they do; I've had my share this year. The thing that concerned me before about this and now again too is that the pain extends below the knee to the ankle. That is very unlikely to be just ITB or just hip bursitis. You may certainly well have those too, but like I said before, it may be coming from your back. That would also explain the feeling of weakness. The distribution of your symptoms that you describe sound like they are in the L5 distribution. Perhaps you have a disk at the L5-S1 level that is intermittently irritating the nerve or maybe is the axial load (running, esp. fast running) causing just enough pressure to irritate the nerve.

Without an exam, one can never really diagnose an injury. There are so many things that overlap. However, I'm concerned it's coming from your back. You don't have to really even have back pain for it to be coming from there.

If you also have hip bursitis, it will hurt when you lay on that side. Sounds like that's the case. So, get another steroid injection. You can do that. But again, you are going to need to get to the UNDERLYING problem because no one should have repeated steroid injections, esp. if they continue to run. That's because there is a small but real risk of tendon weakening in the area of the steroid, esp. if not deposited directly into the bursa. And if it IS bursitis that keeps coming back, you need to treat the underlying mechanical problems that keep provoking it.

ITB and hamstring can respond to the "Stick" for self muscle massage. You can get one of those for like 15 bucks at Zombierunner.com. Personally, I like the TigerTail version a little better. It's a little softer. I'll have to get you the link.

It's not unusual to have a combination of problems. For runners, that seems to always be the case. That's because we run through or ignore injury signs and we start collecting imbalances and additional injuries. I'm guilty of it myself.

I'd highly recommend backing off the speed work. I'd also go easy on the hills. I'd see if your doctor can prescribe a short oral steroid taper to reduce inflamation in the nerve root (if that's what it is) or even in the muscle, which it does sound like you have. I wouldn't, however, do this without also backing off the intensity of the training.

Do you have access to some non-impact stuff like an elliptical or pool? A bike might be a good alternative too. Certainly, you can stay in shape, but I think you are headed for more problems unless you do some ACTIVE RELATIVE REST.

You already know Dr. Jerod in Portland, and I think Kristin J. (ultrarunner and excellent PT) is moving - or has already moved - to Portland. Both are excellent resources and can help tease out the source(s) of your pains and the treatment of them so that they don't come back. In the meantime, I will look up the exercises I gave you before and send you the link again via your regular email.

Let me know how it goes. Your legs are very important to me, Olga!! :)


Anonymous said...

Sage advice, Doc Lisa.

Running with a pack on while on those heavily crowned roads probably exacerbates her issues. Like other things this should be done as a gradual adaptation. This is likely a case of too much-too fast and her already slightly injured body rebelled.

I forgot about 'the stick'. A good tool, in the short-term, she can use a rolling pin on the IT band and as a general overall self-leg massager.

Anonymous said...

Swimming and/or the use of a kickboard might help, too.

Anonymous said...

Swimming and/or the use of a kickboard might help, too.

Sarah said...

Ouch!...I hope you can figure out the causes of your injuries. But isn't the internet great? There's so much support and comraderie here! : )

D said...

Wow - when I see the beautiful photos of your part of the country I want to pack up my things and move there! I hope you get your injuries resolved. We all know the frustrations with doctors.

mtnrunR said...

As Dr. Lisa said, try to find what the underlying problem is then you can go to work and fix it. Good luck. That was nice what you said about bloggers, thank you.

Oh, running Doctor is right about the steroid injections. For some, (if that is the right course of action obviously), might be all they need. Sometimes get just one injection and problem solved. Good luck and get well!

Eudemus said...

Nice job on the speed work. Track repeats are always tough. I am building my base back up, but will try some speed work later in my schedule. Also, I can certainly commiserate with the hip pain. They are a major issue for me as well. I think mine are due to my underdeveloped gluts...that's right, I am a "wimp ass".

Hope all progress well with the training.

rick said...

We run our repeats like your new club but we try to put people in pace groups. Usually from Winter, Spring and Summer we have about 40 people show up and usually folks find people to run with.

I know I'm excited about Triple C. Cascade Crest Classic is a great race and I'm happy it's still alive. I see Rob even put his name in the mix for run director.

robtherunner said...

Now, how did Rick know that I put my name in the hat. Has there been info out on the web that I don't know about? Just wondering.

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