CCM: Whiny Old Guy

I didn’t feel great after my bike ride back from puppet class last night, and I still felt a little off when I got up this morning.  Maybe I’m coming down with whatever Ruth had over the weekend? (I always think I’m catching everything around me – I’m very suggestible.)  I had a cup of Echinacea tea with my banana to help fight off the possibility and then I headed off to the track.

The run over wasn’t great but I went ahead with my planned 4×800 workout anyhow and it turned out OK.  I wanted to add a couple more 800’s and run all four at 3:28 or less.  I figured out how to get the Garmin to show the elapsed time during each interval, which helped me stay right on pace for the first two, at 3:27.  I dropped to 3:25 for number three and then I cranked out the last one in 3:20.

The last lap was a little too fast, not because the pace was too much of a strain, but because I’m trying to run conservatively to stay injury-free.  When I’m not careful, a few fast miles can hurt me a lot more than 20 slow miles.

It may seem like I worry a lot about injury, but the list of reasons is fairly long.  The complete tally of aches and pains starts with my feet (which need 10 minutes of walking around every morning before they stop hurting) and works almost all the way up my old, beat-up body.  I chalk most of the list up to age and wear-and-tear and do my best to ignore them, but two items in particular, my back and left hamstrings, need extra attention.

The lumbar disc at L5 is ground down, so my back is very susceptible to the pounding of running.  If I don’t keep up with my core exercises and pay close attention to my running form, when I straighten my back after a run it feels like someone’s jammed a knife in there to keep me from standing up.

In 2009, I tore something in my left leg and made it worse by running (limping) on it until the pain forced me to stop.  After six months of therapy, all my insurance would cover, I was able to get back on the roads, but I still have a pain in the butt that just won’t go away.  I stretch and do self-massage with the foam roller and spiky ball, and as long as I never run more than two days in a row, it’s manageable.  Three or more days of running and sitting can get to be problematic.

Still, it was only four 800’s today, and even the 3:20 wasn’t terribly close to top speed.  I didn’t feel too beat up afterwards.  Besides, the trip back from Alewife last night after puppet class was a quadruple-bunny bike ride, so I felt lucky.

(7.4 mi. run; 149.5#)

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