Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Hurts To Run

Still having problems with my right ankle. I thought it would be better today, and since it was so warm (relatively), I decided to do my normal lunch run. As soon as I left the bank I knew I made the wrong decision. Regardless, I badly wanted to go for a run. If I ran long enough, I figured the pain would go away. It didn't. Every time I landed on my right foot and proceeded through the gait, I hurt. I think this is just a reminder for me to stay away from running at least until next year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Final 08 Race

Finally finished the last of my races today. I needed to finish one more race to qualify for next year's NYC marathon. Truth be told, I wish I had done the race sooner. It was cold (28F), windy, and I ran on an injured ankle. Next time I'll choose a warmer day, but today, I had no choice. This was my last chance to race this before I leave for Hawaii next week.

I ran at a really relaxed pace of 8:23 - about 45 secs/mile pace slower than my marathon. That was about the extent that I was willing to push. I ran on the bridle path whenever I could during the race to run on a softer path. Once across the finish, I headed straight to the sub station. On my way home, I had a rather embarrassing encounter with the sidewalk. As I stepped out to the street at 50th and 8th, I jogged lightly, tripped and fell on my stomach.

Once home, I had a look at my ankle. I've had a problem with it since a brisk paced run a couple of weeks ago and it has not gotten better. Playing basketball last week aggravated it. To my surprise, there was some swelling and bruising on the inner ankle. Sara and I went walking around in the afternoon and I don't think that helped. What this is forcing me to do, and for which I'm thankful, is that it's forcing me to take time off for healing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Learning Something New Everyday

Had my second visit with the doc at William Sports & Spine today and it was quite educational. We went over my x-rays from the first visit. I learned that my spine and vertebrae are healthy, but have a slight forward rotation of my right hip and a subtle bowing of the spine to the right. Part of that is because I'm right side dominant, and it's also the reason why I've had a sore lower back and back spasms. X-rays showed no arthritis or wearing out of any joints. I've read articles that running weakens joints and other articles that claim the opposite. Obviously I'm more in agreement with the latter. I also asked the doc today why I hurt more now that I'm running a lot less. He told me it's because of muscle memory. My muscles have been used to averaging 50 miles per week the last several months and that muscle memory is very unforgiving. I wonder if this is why other runners just keep going throughout the winter.

Anyways, after the x-ray review, I had some electric stimulator pads attached to my back to do whatever it needed. It was kind of a weird sensation to have these little pads sort of pull and knead my back muscles. I must say though that it felt really relieving for my back. After fifteen minutes of that, he stretched out my legs and along the way, snapped my rotated hips back into place and straightened out my spine. I walked out feeling pain free and very happy. :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Heart Central Park

Along my easy pace eight miles tonight, I got to thinking how thankful I am of Central Park. I several hours there per week mostly running, biking and walking. Whatever the activity and season, it's an oasis for me. Sara and I occasionally talk about moving to another part of the city and one of our requirements is to live by the park. Come to think of it, I honestly don't know if I could last so many years in NYC if I lived away. That may sound dramatic, but there's a ring of truth. West side highway is it's straight and boring. Prospect Park in Brooklyn was architected by the same landscape designers as CP, but it's not quite big enough. I've probably run CP's loops hundreds of times by now. With or without an ipod, it has never been boring. I can't say the same for all other places I've lived, and that includes Hawaii.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Grumpy? Bored? Go for a run!

I'd been feeling unproductive all weekend. Sara and I made a feeble attempt at Christmas shopping Saturday, but I wasn't in the mood, but I went anyway because I promised. I wasn't very good company and effectively killed off any excitement Sara had. We came home where I proceeded to mope. Ugh. Just one of those days. The grumpiness carried over to Sunday. I was annoyed at myself for feeling so moody. Time of the month? I pinned down my moodiness to boredom and lack of running. There was only one thing to do to make myself feel better: go for a run! I didn't care that it was less than 40F, windy and raining. I needed to get out. Sara wanted me to leave as well.

Once I was out, I immediately felt lighter spiritually and more joyful. Thank God for endorphins! The air was cool and refreshing. Except for a handful of other runners, I had the park mostly to myself. It was a nice to run out my negative energy and bring back home a more positive presence.

I've had this experience of being grumpy or moody many times, and for me, running is always the anecdote. Even though there have been times that I did not want to go running and found it difficult to lace up, I have never ever regretted going for a run when I got back home.