Sunday, October 29, 2006


My 21-miler went well today, in most regards. It was a perfect day for it—cool at the outset and warming up just enough to be pleasant.

I started off in the dark so I wouldn’t finish up too late. It was my first time running in the dark in a long time, and I’d forgotten what a problem that can be for me. My right eye no longer corrects to 20/20 and I’ve always had an astigmatism, so judging the trails and curbs is tricky without good light. But it forced me go out nice and slow, which is a good thing.

I went up to Rice University, did the loop around campus and started back. This was when I first started having little twinges in my hip, and I think it was mainly due to the cambered surfaces I was running on. When I would hit a level patch, the annoyance would go away. With no real reason not to continue, I went to the second part of my run, which was a loop up Memorial to Chimney Rock, and back on Woodway. Luckily the construction at the 610 Loop is mostly finished and I didn’t have to make any detours.

Once I was back inside the loop with about three miles left to go, the hip started bothering me more often, but once again, only on questionable surfaces or when I stopped for water. My calves were pretty tight at this point, but I started my run with tight calves, so that wasn’t unexpected. Other than those two things, I felt really, really good. It was one of those “run forever” days when my mind and body were primed and ready, and if I had been running a marathon today, I would’ve done great. Even my mental state was good. I never got bored or started wishing the run was over. I even toyed with the notion of going longer, but I had to take my lunch date with my husband into consideration, so I finished up as planned.

Tonight I’m leaning strongly toward signing up for San Antonio, two weeks away. I think the hip problem is a tight hip flexor, which can be dealt with pretty easily. The pain doesn’t manifest itself in the hip flexor itself, but when I use my trigger point ball, that muscle is really tight, and loosening it seems to help. The pain I’m feeling is probably either referred pain (your body doesn’t always hurt at the point of injury) or it’s from other muscles tightening up to compensate for the hip flexor issue.

If I’m right with my self-diagnosis, I can resolve this problem without much trouble. And I’m usually right about soft-tissue matters. It’s only when I try to do the “right” thing and go to a doctor that I get sucked into months of treatments that never solve the problem or even result in a correct diagnosis. Let’s not even go there.

My biggest worry about doing San Antonio is hills. It’s a hilly town, no two ways about it. Not only have I not trained on hills, but they would likely pose the same problems to my hip as cambered surfaces. This is something to consider seriously. I’m wondering if scheduled walk breaks and walking any really big hills would be sufficient to ward off trouble. I’m going to try to find an elevation map of the course (no luck so far) and get an idea what I would be up against.

Tonight my hip is bothering me a little, but I’m going to see how it feels in the morning and try for my regular Sunday Six if it’s okay. That will probably tell me better than anything else just how I’m really doing.

Oh—my time for 21.3 miles today was approximately four hours, including warmup and cooldown, pit stops, buying water, and an extended snack break at Turtle Pond, which sadly, seems to no longer have turtles. I didn’t wear my watch, so I only know the time I left and the time I returned, with no precise minutes and seconds. I don’t like to wear my watch when I’m injured or recovering from injury. It messes with my head and makes me try to go faster than I should.

I'm spending a quiet night at home tonight, no Halloween parties or anything. I spent so many years in the restaurant business that I still call nights like this "Amateur Nights," and I avoid going out, if at all possible.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: 5.5 mile run
Wednesday: rest, not feeling well
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical
Friday: official rest day
Saturday: 21.3 mile run

1 comment:

it's only fuel said...

Bunny - you are my hero! 21 freaking miles is amazing. Way to go:)

Have you tried the Motion Based site for GPS/Topo information for the San Antonio course? Here's a link for a search I did (on MB, you might have to register for the site, but it's free. It's a great resource for distance and topo charts to show elevation. It's exactly what you're looking for: