First, here's the past week:
02-22-2010Mon-AM: 15 miles (2:17) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
Ridiculously beautiful, clear morning. 2" new snow.
PM: 13 miles (2:00) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
Legs felt great but snow kept things slow and easy.
Tue-AM: 14 miles (2:10) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
Legs feeling great; trail slowly setting up nicely.
Wed-AM: 14 miles (2:05) Green Mt. Ranger-Amp+2nd Flatiron, 3000'
Felt awesome. Post-holed up to the 1st Flatiron
on the descent.
PM: 14 miles (2:05) Green Mt. Amp-Greenman, 2800'
Unexpectedly slow trail conditions led to a relaxed 35:50
climb, when I'd planned to tempo it. Tacked on 10x20sec
strides during 2mi of barefoot at Kitt field.
Thu-AM: 14 miles (2:01) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
Got out at 5am before early meeting. Took it easy.
Fell really hard on the icy streets on the way home.
Fri-AM: 18 miles (3:00) 2 x Green Mt. up Amp, 5300'
Easy 37:25 and 37:15 in 2-3" of fresh, slow snow.
Sat-AM: 14 miles (2:06) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
Great trail conditions. Encountered a posse of
Pearl Izumi friends.
PM: 14 miles (2:02) Green Mt. up Amp down Greenman, 2800'
33:14 for the climb up the front . Legs didn't really have it,
but good effort.
Sun-AM: 15 miles (2:13) Green Mt. Ranger-Bear Canyon, 3000'
Tired, but trail was in great shape and I love this loop.
-Hours: 21h 59min
Green Summits: 67 (over 59 days)
And now for a little look back at the past month, starting with the numbers.
-Hours: 75h 33min
February was an excellent month. The second week was a bit shaky with only 88 miles and nothing but the minimum obligatory single summit of Green every day. My knee was acting up a bit, but strangely it never really hurt when I was running, only while doing the mundane activities of daily life: walking up and down stairs, riding my bike to class or the grocery store, etc. So, I kept it conservative that week and it paid off very well as the last two weeks have been excellent both in their consistent vertical and volume and in the general happiness of the knee.
I spent most of February getting once-a-week one-hr acupuncture sessions with Allison Suddard, as referred by Jeremy Rodgers. This was the first time that I've ever had any sort of acupuncture treatment (what Jeremy would refer to as "dry-needling vascularization" and Allison would call "trigger point therapy"), so I was curious as to what a treatment session would involve and whether or not it would have any positive effect on my knee.
After the first session, my right leg was incredibly sore. Like, I was limping out of the office. I'd always seen pictures of acupuncture where there were several needles poking out of someone's body and I would think to myself, How can that not hurt? Well, I got my answer this first session, in that--at least for the kind of Trigger Point therapy that Allison was performing--it simply hurts a lot. It's a weird kind of hurt, though, almost like a dull ache or numbness sometimes accompanied by what felt like almost an electrical shock when the muscle would occasionally "twitch" (not pleasant) under Allison's manipulation.
Despite the general discomfort of the treatment, my knee didn't really seem to be getting worse, so I kept going back for all four prescribed sessions even though there didn't really seem to be any improvement in my knee, either. Mostly, it was just nice to be doing something proactive on a regular basis to improve the condition of the knee. However, in this last week of February there has definitely been some significant improvement in my knee. The first that I've seen in these first two months of the year. So, I'm fairly convinced the acupuncture did something worthwhile, especially since Jeremy had said that the effects (if there would be any) would take a number of weeks to show up.
I am very happy to have continued this month with the consistency that I was able to achieve in January. It seems like I've reached a level of sustainable running that is building strength but isn't precariously riding the line that separates fitness and injury. I'm not training at my maximum amount, which is something I would too often do (basically, whenever possible) in the past. Right now, my goal races are still two and four months away, so I need to be able to maintain this sort of volume and intensity for that much longer.
Despite the consistency of the past two months, I haven't raced even once since Leadville last August. As a result, in looking ahead to March, I hope that my knee continues to improve and that it allows me to complete a couple of intermediate races and/or adventure runs. A trail 50K or a double-crossing of the Grand Canyon over Spring Break would be very exciting for me. We shall see.
And now, for this week's selection of auditory pleasure. The Cold War Kids have so many excellent songs from previous albums, but this is off their very recently released EP Behave Yourself, so I thought it most relevant and appropriate: