I just got back from a farlek run with my wife, and we were discussing injuries. In her case, injuries happen more often now as she gets older, but I’m not sure that is my case. I remember limping to the start of my high school cross country meets. My knees hurt but not once the gun went off. I have no idea how I pulled that one off, but it's the honest truth.
Last March I did Ironman San Juan, and I had to survive a couple of injuries: one a little serious to my calf, and other small ones to my knees related to knee tracking.
I got home from San Juan ready to do some training, but, after I recovered, I started having a shooting pain between the toes of my right foot. The pain meant that I had developed a condition called Morton's Neuroma. The San Juan 70.3 race intensity flared it up to the point that running was painful. Morton's Neuroma is basically the irritation of a nerve between the toes. The pounding from the race and, in my case, tight shoes created the nerve friction and inflammation. Aggressive running over 13 miles on hard pavement, cement and cobble stones, something I have not done in years, did not help either. I was really bummed out to say the least. I had a neuroma in the early 90's on my left foot, and I eventually had to have it removed. That would be a good three month recovery and definitely no racing, so I headed to the podiatrist to see what could be done.
The podiatrist suggested two weeks of no running, very little easy cycling, and also shot my foot with cortisone. He suggested I get super wide running shoes with a stiff mid sole, no speed work, no hills for a while, and later see if I can train and avoid surgery. He did not think surgery was what I needed. I said fine, but I for sure was not feeling positive. Was this was going to have a good ending?
It has now been three weeks since my first post doctor run, and I managed to build my run back up to 10 miles and my rides to 65 miles. My swimming did not take a hit, but the doc also suggested that I be careful with the pool walls when pushing off. Apparently this doc was a triathlete in his younger age. Only in Boulder huh?
My foot is not 100%. I would say its 90% to 95% healthy. I still get a few sensations but nothing that I would quite call pain. I soak my feet in very cold Colorado snow melt at a nearby creek and hope for the best. That is the best I can do.
If you read the MarkAllenOnline eNewsletter you may have heard I am now entered into the Hawaii Ironman this October. I received an invitation, and I accepted it. This will be my last Ironman for the next 10 to 15 years. My kids are getting into athletics, and, fairly soon, I will be part of the shuttle service to get them to practices, meets and games with no chance to train for an Ironman. I do not want to miss a thing with them. My son is an excellent soccer player, so I may go back to coach soccer. My daughter has a backstroke that is unreal, just naturally. Once my kids are out of the house I can still run and train. I may try again but that is a huge ‘if’, if my friends are any indication.
Let’s go back to my run today. I did some farlek, and it went rather well. It wasn’t super-fast, although I did manage a 6:10 per mile pace on my last one minute interval. Most of it was about 7 minute per mile pace, but what I was more excited about was how my feet felt. There was no bad pain. What this means is I will be most likely racing a 1 mile swim 5K run race next week to get some racing under my belt. This race is actually the US Aquathon National Championships. Maybe some fast guys will come out of the woodwork. Speaking of fast guys, that is who I will get to compete against at the Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in Lubbock Texas next month. This race is a Hawaii Ironman qualifier which guarantees a fast group of guys will be there. I’m looking forward to that and just hope I have safe and injury free training until then.
Alright I am off to bed; I am riding 4 hours tomorrow.