Monday, September 20, 2010

Thank you Andrew Dunlop, Stewart Adams, John Nicholson, Jeff Wilson, & Colin Burrows

These men created one of the great wonder drugs of the 20th century - Ibuprofen. I'm not a pill popper - but as I tested out my glute and hamstring on a run last Friday I thought I'd try taking ibuprofen afterwards. I woke up the next morning actually feeling better (why didn't I do this 2 weeks ago!). I ran again on Saturday even further - while taking ibuprofen three times during the day. I felt good enough Saturday evening to decide I should try to run my planned half-marathon on Sunday. I had run a total of 45 miles over the last 18 days - hardly anything - but I felt that my elliptical and stationary bike workouts had maintained most of my fitness.

On Sunday morning I still felt a little tight - but the sharp pain in my right glute had dulled. I figure that the inflammation must have been pushing up against a nerve. In both the massages I had since the problem first started they said that my left hamstring/glute was actually tighter than my right - most likely this means that the inflammation was entirely the problem - there wasn't any real muscle damage as I had feared.

As I was warming up, feeling the excitement of such a large race, there was a little part of me that thought - "hey, let's just see what happens out there - maybe you could still break 70 minutes!" I quickly nipped that in the bud. Today was about finding out what 2:30 marathon pace (~5:40 per mile) felt like for 13.1 miles. As the race started I stayed relaxed - I really had no idea what I was running pace wise - but I knew that I needed for it to feel pretty easy. The first mile was 5:36 - not bad. For the next several miles I yo-yoed between high 5:40's and high 5:30's. I'm not sure if this was due to my lack of running recently - or if the markers were off a bit.

I felt pretty comfortable up until around 10 miles - after that point I was able to keep the pace fine - but it was more of an effort than I should have been feeling if I were running a full marathon. I ended up finishing in 1:14:36 - probably just about what I would want to go through the half-way point at Chicago.

The plan for this week will be to get my legs back under me without doing anything too crazy. I'm planning on running 63 miles this week which is more than I've run in the last three weeks combined - but it's half of what I ran five weeks ago (how quickly things can change) - so it should be fine. I'm going to keep up the ibuprofen regimen for a few more days - although this morning I don't seem to have any problems with my right glute/hamstring. I'm pretty sore otherwise - but that should be expected since I haven't had anything close to the effort I ran yesterday in quite awhile.

Last Week
Monday - Wednesday All bike and elliptical (45 minutes - 1 hour 20 minutes)
Thursday: 3 miles mixed in with elliptical
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 7 miles
Sunday: 17 miles - Philadelphia Rock & Roll half-marathon 1:14:36
Total: 31 miles

This Week
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 6.5 miles
Wednesday: 10.5 miles
Thursday: 7 miles
Friday: 6.5 miles
Saturday: 18 miles 2X(5 miles easy 3 miles tempo)
Sunday: 10.5 miles
Total: 63 miles

1 comment:

The Other BG said...

That's great to hear, man! I've figured out some of the powers of ibuprofen too lately. Earlier this year, it helped me get over a calf injury, and before that knee inflammation. Whenenver I have pain now--especially if I can tell it's inflammation-based--I ice one or twice a day and take ibuprofen before I go run. I know killing pain *before* running is not good, but reducing the swelling before putting strain on the body part seems to help a lot. Also, if the inflammation is close to the skin surface, like my knee tendonitis a couple of years ago, you can use curd ("Topfen" in Austrian, "Quarg" in German) as a topical cream that, by the time it dries, has reduced inflammation a lot. Back in 2008, I was suprised that after three weeks of nearly no running due to tendonitis, the cheese healed me completely within two or three days.

Tear it up, man!