Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekly Summary: March 1-7

A look back at the week:

Mon-AM: 14 miles (2:05) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
              1" of fresh snow on the trail.
Tue-AM: 15 miles (2:08) Green Mt. Ranger-Bear Canyon, 3000'
             5am start afforded me an incredible moon-set.
Wed-AM: 14 miles (2:04) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
             Spring is here!  Beautiful morning.
        PM: 14 miles (2:00) Green Mt. up/down Amp/SR/G'man, 2800'
            32:49 for the climb and then 2.5 miles of barefoot on
           Kitt Field in the sublime evening air. Ran with Jeff. Low back
           hurt on the downhill from when I fell earlier in the week.
Thu-AM: 14 miles (2:07) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
             Tired, but felt better after the run than before.
       PM: 13 miles (2:00) Green Mt. up & down Amp/SR/Gman, 2800'
            Easy effort 34:45 climb on tired legs in slow, punchy snow 
           conditions. Tacked on a mile barefoot at the end.  Back hurt.
Fri-AM: 13 miles (2:06) Green Mt. Ranger-Greenman, 2800'
          Hmmm...disconcerting.  Back/butt really sore by the end.
Sat-AM: 4 miles (:32) Kittredge Fields
         Knew the night before that my back wasn't going to allow
         any real running today, so, despite the 60F+ temps I just
        jogged barefoot.  Back sore by the end.
Sun-AM: 1 mile (:10) Boulder Creek Path
        Back no worse than yesterday, but definitely still an issue.
-Miles: 102
-Hours: 15h12min
-Vertical: 19,800'
Green Mt.: 74 summits over 66 days


Kind of a blah week.  It started off busy with a bunch of schoolwork and then I had a bad fall that has--as I feared--proven to be a pretty substantial issue.  I was coming back from my early morning run and turned left off Baseline onto 10th Street, heading downhill.  I like to run down Cascade Ave, parallel to Baseline, because it has way less traffic.  Anyways, I stepped on some black ice on the corner of 10th and Cascade, my feet instantly shot out from underneath me and I fell really really hard with all of my weight landing directly on the just-off-center bump on my extreme lower back that I think is created by the protuberance of the right side of the sacroilliac joint.

It was kind of scary as it felt like my entire body went numb for a couple seconds, but after just lying there in the middle of the street for a few moments I got up, walked it off, and gingerly finished the run.  However, over the course of the week it's progressively gotten worse until by the end of the week it was seriously affecting my ability to run and even walk.  I'm hoping that a simple chiropractic adjustment (and maybe a little time) will make it all better, but right now the sciatic nerve is acting pretty upset.  

I'm pretty frustrated that this is in no way an overuse injury, but has seemed to become subsequently worse with running.  Also, the knee is feeling great and I was planning on testing it further this weekend with a 3-4hr run in the beautiful weather on Saturday, but that obviously didn't happen.  We'll see.  Before the weekend I was +10 on the 100 summits in 100 days timeline, so I fortunately have a decent cushion there and can accommodate missing a few Green ascents right now.  Unfortunately, it's not always so easy to mentally accommodate the absence of a daily mountain summit, but I'm committed to being smart about this bump and will give it the time it needs to heal.


gon4run said...


Falling while running is such a blow to the head (pardon the pun)! It is almost as mentally bashing as it is physical.
You are training smart.Have faith in your mind that cutting back on the training is sometimes necessary and that you will return to your previous level as soon as you are able.
I am really enjoying your blog. Please keep writing.

Aaron said...

You inspired me to run green mountain this morning and I was completely humbled by it...but I was also in awe and I can clearly see why you run that thing every morning. What a magnificent trail to run...and starting off the day on top of a mountain is a wonderful thing.

Michael Shane Helton said...

Play it smart and get well soon.

Jim P. said...

Ain't it great to run hard up and down icy mountain trails only to fall on a city street on the way home? Same thing happened to me six weeks ago returning from Green to work. Ran hard up and down, then fell near the CU campus. Knee still giving trouble from that stupid (and humiliating) fall.

Brandon Fuller said...

I am revising my comment from "Weekly Summary: February 15-21". I am no longer parking further away from the trailhead -- until the streets are clear of ice. I wore my spikes on Cascade last time. I can buy new ones but butt bones aren't in stock.

Chris said...

Sounds a nasty crash to earth, especially after your recent post on the positive feedback from regular training. In 2007, I ran every day for the first 7 months and clocked virtually every PB that season. I hope this doesn't scupper your Green Mountain ascents for too long.

Anonymous said...

i can empathize. i've been a victim of si joint and lower back pain for the better part of a year following an injury at a race last february. after trying (and trying) to push through and achieve 'active recovery', had to take 5 weeks off in dec/jan and focus on strength and non-impact stuff like bike since my body had adapted (asymmetrically) to running with pain on the right side.

hope you can avoid this -- but don't forget to listen to your body!

Unknown said...

Hey Anton, long time reader, first time posting a comment.
Thats pretty rotten luck in that you have conciously 'limited' (i use quotation marks as this is still a mammoth effort for an ordinary person) your training to prevent injuries commonly associated with overuse.
Hopefully you get over it very soon.

Dusty said...

Love the photo - you look genuinely happy. But is that an approved microfiber / compression / gore tex / waterproof / breathable shirt you're wearing?

Because it looks like a cowboy shirt. Heal fast!

Hoppy said...

Anton- amazing effort! on Green so far, way to inspire!.As for the fall - try soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts?. Loosen up and heal fast - go grab the rest of those summits. Thanks also for the rockin tunes,your musical taste is up there as well :) Hopi

Greenlight said...

Hi Anton,

There's a very useful NYT article with techniques for recovering from back injuries. This is a new study, so your PT may not yet have seen it.

I have only recently started reading your blog, so don't know whether it's your first encounter with sciatica. If it is, it's useful to hear this from multiple people: Sciatica often remains an annoyance for years. Really, this isn't too big a deal, but we'll all tell you it doesn't just go away on its own like other injuries. It requires you to alter your cross-training and isometric routines so that it no longer troubles you.

Number one piece of advice is to cut out *all* back strain from workouts. Cut out toe-touches, full crunches and the reverse -- backwards bends.

You won't lose core strength in the process, if, as the above article describes, you move to alternative isometrics that build core strength in ways that actually relieve the pinch on the sciatic nerve. Also, in place of toe-touches, dynamic stretches like leg kicks have personally given me no trouble at all.

Man, it is a joy to hear about your runs. They just blow me away.

Nergock said...

Anton, I just realized that your back pain was from a fall. If that's the case, the Egoscue Method could be the answer. The fall probably misaligned your body. The Egoscue Method will help realigned it. You can get the book and do the exercise yourself or contact them for a more customized solution. I think if you contact them, they might give you the book for free.

I have two co-workers that have seen them for back pain with amazing results. One co-worker got rid of back pain my realigning his knees and then his hips. After that his back pain was cured. The thing is you have to commit an hour each day to do the exercises.

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