Friday, January 29, 2010

So, the good news is...

... it's not broken. The bad news is... it was broken (probably related to my jump from the boat) but I didn't know it, has since healed, and now I've aggravated it. This after meeting w/the Doc (who is actually a pretty good guy), getting x-rays, an ultrasound, and some more poking and prodding. The good news is I can still swim and bike, just no running or impact producing movements for the next 2-3 weeks, and then we re-assess. I also have a PT regimen to do 3X per day. No meds though, so that's good. I suppose this means any of the x-fit related workouts are out (Max?), and I probably need to reconsider my choice of cycling shoe as well- I have the Specialized Tri-vents with the metatarsal button that will be pushing right into the painful spot.

Thanks for the good vibes folks...

Thought for the day: I spent a considerable amount of time searching for a MD who specializes in sports medicine, but who is also a general practitioner. I'm tired of going to Dr's who don't get it, and whose answer to everything is always "if it hurts, then don't do it". This line of reasoning just isn't acceptable to an athlete. So this was the second time I'd been to this particular practice (the first was for a physical about 6 months ago), and the first time there with any type of injury. I'm happy to say the Doc didn't even consider "stay off your feet and rest" tack, and approached the issue from the perspective I was hoping. Good job Doc, good job. It didn't hurt that there is a life size mural of Peyton Manning painted in the exam room. Go Colts!

Also, read the first paragraph. Heh. Beware the resolutionists

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I broke my f'in foot!

Well, actually I'm not sure if I broke it. Remember that clicking in my toe I was bitching about a few posts ago? No? Well then you should pay closer attention because I was, in fact, whining like a little girl. So here's the scoop and what I think happened. Months and months ago I was on my boat, and jumped down onto a wooden dock. It's possible that there was some alcohol involved, and that I landed all wonky on my right foot. So... I hobbled around for a few days until it felt better and didn't think about it again. Until now. So this clicking thing started in my toe a few weeks ago. Then, a few days ago when I was doing my 10k TT on the treadmill with the incline, it really started to hurt. And I mean hurt. The last 10 min of that run were excruciating. But even afterward I was fine walking around on it, until I got home and took my shoe off. I took one step forward and almost folded onto the ground. It got a little better over the next day, but every time I walk around without the support of a shoe it feels like I have a broken piece of glass at the base of the toe, where it connects to that jumble of bones in the forefoot. Very odd because when I am wearing a shoe it is barely noticeable. Anyway, I'm seeing the sports medicine witch-doctor guy tomorrow and will let you know what the diagnosis is.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

People are all looking at me because I'm walking funny.

Sorry Max- it's been too long. To bring my loyal readers up to date (both of you- hi mom and dad :-) Last Wed I woke up in the middle of the night w/a pretty significant fever which knocked me out until Sat. Not feeling entirely 100% I decided to test the waters with a little 20 mile bike ride. Honestly, it was also a gorgeously sunny, if not chilly, day outside and I REALLY needed to justify the exorbitant cost of a pair of Castelli cycling tights I bought in Nov but had yet to wear (they absolutely f-in rock, btw). Anyway- it turned out to be a great ride and my condition continued to improve. Not wanting to relapse I made the command decision to limit myself to 1 workout per day until today. So... Sun I hit the pool for my 6x100 on 4min rest. I was so proud of myself, consistently lapping between 1:26 and 1:30 per hundred. The last time I did something similar I was averaging around 1:50ish, and I was all "Crossfit rocks, yo". Then I realized it was time to crush my enthusiasm about my awesomeness and ask someone if the pool was short. They couldn't say definitively, but the general consensus is that, yes, it is short. Dammit. Oh well. Yesterday turned out to be a wash (damn you work, damn you).

Which brings me to today. A 10k TT, on the treadmill, at 5% incline. Lets see... a 10k flat should take me a ~45 min, add in the incline and... maybe 50-55min tops. Heh, I'm funny. So I included my warm-up in the run because of the gym's time limits on the 'mill, and began running a nice and slow10min pace, increasing 1% grade every 2 min. At 10 min I was at 5%, and had a slight feeling that I might not be running this thing as quickly as I initially thought. 10 min later I knew, just like a gov't timeline, my initial assessment was shall we say "optimistic".  At this point I'd like to pause and point out that a girl came in and took the 'mill to my right. She placed her cappuccino in the cup holder (not a coffee, but a foamy, frothy cappuccino), started walking, and made a phone call. At 6:45 am. Seriously? So, being the workout snob I am, this incensed me to no end. I was brought back to reality a minute later when I realized the 5% grade now felt like I was running up El Capitan. And so it went, until I finished in 1:03. And now here I sit, waiting for the inevitable cramps that will have my co-workers thinking I am going through some type of drug withdrawal, or possibly giving birth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally I broke the treadmill :-)

This mornings workout- 20 box jumps, 20 squats, 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, run 1 mile. 2x through. The weather in DC was crappy this morning, spitting rain and 39 degrees. In order to do my best at avoiding pneumonia I opted for the gym and the dreaded 'mill. Like most people here (I suppose?) I don't have access to a dedicated crossfit facility, and my gym, while really a pretty decent facility, is not set up to facilitate what we are trying to do. The space where the have the boxes is on the 3rd floor, and all of the 'mills are on the 1st and 2nd floors. I was relieved to see they actually acquired some real iron "boxes", which means no more stacking aerobic steps and wedging them in place with 45lb plates.

So... I warmed up on a bike for 5 min (the ERG was taken) and went upstairs to get busy. I realized I had forgotten my watch, so I tried to time myself as best I could on the wall clock (amazing how pushing yourself 'till the verge of puking can make you forget what the clock said when you started). I did the 20/20/20/20 in exactly 2:20 both times, then ran a 7:28 and 6:46 respectively. Apparently I should have run harder on the first round. But... the highlight of the morning: On my second run I had to use a different treadmill than round one because, of course, someone was using it to walk while reading a book. So I hop on the next 'mill over and start up, increasing speed every 30 sec or so. As I closed in on a 6 min pace I realized it was out of balance and it started to vibrate pretty significantly. It was borderline safe, and my water bottle was close to being tossed out of the holder, which happened to be my self-determined threshold for stability- if the bottle got tossed I was going to hop off (I may be mildly crazy, but I have no desire to become a poster boy for treadmill safety). But... faulty equipment be damned- I had a workout to do. Then, as I crossed the 6 min pace and got into the 5's the foundering treadmill couldn't keep up and began flashing a warning message about how it couldn't maintain the pace. Secretly I was hoping it would have started smoking and burst into flames, because then I would be known as "the guy who runs so fast he smokes treadmills and bursts them into flames". But, no luck. I had to settle for my 6:46 and informing the girl at the desk that treadmill #34 is wounded, possibly mortally.

500m swim tonight (although this one may get OBE)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rough couple of days...

So... after 3 States, 1,000 miles of driving, and one night of debaucherous drinking, I'm back in town and should have a schedule relatively uninterrupted by travel for the next several weeks. Workout #1 for the day was a leisurely 15k TT. There is no way I could remain sane for that long on the treadmill, so thank you thank you weather gods for providing a nice warm (if not damp) morning with temps in the low 30's. Suited up in my winter running gear and had my first run outside since before the holidays. Due to time constraints I had to work my warm-up into the first 10min of the run, and then did the best I could for the remainder. I stopped at about 30 min to down an e-Gel (Cherry Bomb- mmmmmmmm...). My route took me from Cap Hill down the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial, across the bridge into Arlington, and then back again. I shorted myself by about 1k and had to add a few loops around the WWII memorial to bring me back into line. All in all it was a good effort for me- avg'd HR was in the mid to high-150's, finishing in 1:24:50. This was the kind of morning when I just feel sad for all those people who live here but don't ever get to see the sun rise over the Capitol. It really is something.

Thought for the day: I had my first run with the Garmin 405. A significant improvement over my 301 as far as satellite acquisition, HR consistency, and size. The display is a bit harder to read in the early morning darkness, but that is strictly due to the size which I just said was a plus. Also, I found that I need to lock the bezel, otherwise I wind up changing the display screen without realizing it. Seems like it will be a great piece of gear as I spend more and more time outside.

ETA- 50 burpee's in 4:37. Ouch.

Also, link to today's run:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Click, click, click...

Today's sole workout- 5k run. It's still too cold outside for my little lungs to handle this type of effort, so it was off to the 'mill at the gym. During my warm-up I realized that I still have this "toe-click" thing going on. I also realized it was not in my ring-toe as previously reported, but in my middle toe. Of all the sports related injuries/issues I have had in my life, this is without a doubt the strangest. But I digress...

Following a 10 min w/u at about a 9:30 pace, I hopped off and stretched for a few minutes, and then let her rip (my version of ripping anyway). When it was all said and done I finished in 21:50. Comparing that to my 3 mile time of 22:30 in Nov, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 11, 2010

OMG, Snookie got into another fight!

So, for those who don't know, I am a Marine Corps reservist and just had a drilling weekend. As you might expect, the Corps is pretty athlete friendly. 3 hr lunches to get in a workout- no problem. Unfortunately it was not to be this weekend, hence the blogging gap and more importantly 2 missed workouts. But...

This morning came all too early. Liz was up at 0440 to make it to her CF class, and since I worked all weekend, I decided the luxury of an extra hour of sleep was well earned. So at 5:45ish I wandered downstairs with cycling shorts in hand, lathered up the nether region with chamois butter, and hopped on the trainer for my 12x 1mi intervals on 1min rest.  I warmed up for about 10 mins while searching for something to watch, and was relieved to find that TiVo had recorded 2 episodes of "Jersey Shore" (stop. right now. don't judge me). I knocked out the workout in 50:41 and then hobbled into the kitchen for coffee and recovery drink. (I heart good coffee).

Depending on the situation at the gym tonight, I may swap "Helen" for my missed ERG/push-up workout from yesterday.

Thought for the day: "Jersey Shore" is fantastic trainer fodder. Similar to a 100% effort workout, it just hurts to watch. I think that equates to extra calories burned, which means I really gave more than 100%. Also, I will no longer be telling people I grew up in Jersey. As far as everyone out there is concerned I grew up "just outside Princeton".

Friday, January 8, 2010

2 inches? Is that it?

So after much ballyhoo, we had a mere 2 inches of snow last night. It seems the grocery stores were not overrun, the National Guard was not called out, and the Federal and DC Gov't offices are open. Maybe, just maybe, sanity is breaking out in this town (although I hear Northern VA is on a 2 hr school delay, so maybe notsomuch).

1st workout done- 3-3-3-3-3 max deadlifts. 5 min warm up on the ERG (or is it erg?). Started w/135, then moved up to 225 and had to stay there for my 5 rounds. My lower back is still my limiting factor (thank you very much, Mr. guy-who-decided-120lbs-of-additional-gear-is-an-acceptable-combat-load-for-jumping-out-of-MRAPs-and-generally-running-around-Iraq). I definitely had more to give on this one, but I'm going to have to wait for my back to catch up with the rest of me.

Bike Tabata tonight, and possibly a swim this afternoon.

ETA- Swim done. A few 50's to warm up, and then an 800 in 13:30ish (possibly 14:20- I may have mis-counted laps and added an extra 50).

Thought for the day- When putting on compression socks, it is a good idea to not do it standing up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why do people avoid the gym on Thursdays?

It's a phenomenon I'll never understand, but very much appreciate. The gym-going masses of days past were non-existent.

Today's effort was what my HS track coach called "The Stairway to Heaven": 200-rest-400-rest-800-rest-800-rest-400-rest-200. Normally I'd try and find a track to do this, or at the very least strap on the Garmin and run laps around the reflecting pool at the National Mall, but since I have a hard time running outside when the temps are this low I headed to the treadmills again. Pretty straightforward overall- 10 min warm up,  6 min/mile pace through second 400, and then hit the limit on the 'mill (which I just found out is 12mph, or 5:00min/mi) for the last 200. I think I had more to give, but it was a little challenging trying to maintain the effort, play with the treadmill buttons and keep my balance. I can't be known as "the guy who fell off the treadmill". I'd much prefer to be known as "he who wields the hammer of the Gods" (heh- I like that. Gonna have to put that on a t-shirt someday).

In other news I definitely strained my left calf yesterday. It was very noticeable on todays run, but not a hindrance. I "think" it is causing me to unconsciously throw my gait off- my entire posterior chain is more tight than usual, and my left knee was a bit sore after the run. I'll make sure to keep moving/stretching throughout the day (as opposed to sitting at my desk for 8-10 hours) and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Also, the "ring toe" on my right foot is "clicking" when I run. Not painful, but really annoying. Anyone have any thoughts on that one?

And yes Haley, I got a new bike :-) Since the P3C fit Liz so well, I gave that to her and had to find something for me (I know. I'm a giver) :

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And this is why you hydrate

Rough 12 hours. So last night was supposed to be a 10k TT. I realized going into it that my hydration level wasn't exactly where it should be, but hey, it's just a 10k, right? (mental note- set watch timer to remind me to drink while at work) Normally I would have done this outside, but running through rush hour traffic in the city, in the dark, with the wind chill in the single digits is just not fun for anyone. So... treadmill it was. I managed to beat the 6pm rush to the 'mills and warmed up a bit. The effort started out ok- ran the 1st mile at 8:00, then miles 2-4 at 7:30 (a pretty decent pace for me) and was getting ready to drop another 30 sec for the remainder. And thats where it started to go downhill. I felt a cramp coming on in my left calf, which gradually progressed to a pretty decent stab. This was oddly reminiscent and in the same calf as the "great calf tear of '06": while training for IMCdA the first time around I tore my calf by continuing to train when I knew I should have backed off (immediately after the holidays, too much partying, not enough sleep, dehydrated, etc). This necessitated 6 weeks of rehab on an elliptical. And I HATE the elliptical. So... after trying to run through it for 1/2 mile I decided to leave well enough alone and be satisfied with the thought that, had it not been for Mr. Calf Cramp, I would have put forth a really decent effort. Immediately after I did some serious stretching, and rolled out my legs on the foam roller (mental note #2- find the Trigger Point Massage Ball stuff I have stored somewhere and break it out). 

Fast-forward to this mornings workout of alternating 500m rows and kettlebell swings. I rolled out of bed at a leisurely 0530 and made it to the gym before 6. Unfortunately, both of the ERG's we have were in use, and the kettlebells are kept on a different floor. Rather than trying to fit my swings into the already crowded cardio room, or try and run back and forth hoping the ERG didn't get taken in my absence, I opted for some outside the box thinking (hey- I'm a consultant). I returned home to my own personal 26.5 lb kettlebell, and alternated the swings with 2min (about the time it takes me to row the 500) abdominal efforts on a Swiss ball.   Not a perfect substitute, but at least I feel like I got it in. 

800m swim tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And the New Year begins...

After 6 weeks of too much travel, too much unhealthy (albeit darned tasty) food, and working out in mediocrity, I've finally got my act together. I should mention that I am more than a little annoyed that my renewal coincides with the hordes of "resolutionists" who have descended upon my gym and are making it quite difficult to do anything other than compare my former haven to a Wal-Mart parking lot. But... I was there first, I've been doing this entirely too long, and I will not let the cost of my new bike go unjustified by allowing them to interfere with my desire to be better than they are. So...

This morning's wake up call came at 0440. This absurd hour was necessitated by last nights 7pm workout that almost didn't happen because there was quite literally nowhere to do deadlifts, and the 2 ERG's we have were taken. But, as mentioned above, I got it in. So I made it to the gym at 5am to do "Cindy" (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats, as many times as possible in 20 min). I did a quick 5 min warm-up on the ERG and then found my little spot in the corner by my back-up pull-up bar (my primary bar was, of course, taken by a patron who was quite obviously using one of her xmas gift certificates for a personal training session). The difference between the two bars, since I know you are wondering, is the primary is a straight, normal pull-up bar, and the back-up has 2 handles off the back of a machine which are "ergonomically" set quite far apart necessitating a wide grip and allowing little variation. But... off I went. I managed to get 9 or 10 rounds in in the allotted time. The first 3 rounds were done in less than 3 minutes, and the remaining 6 or 7 (I lost count during one of my spells of light-headedness between rounds) took the other 17 min. Cooled down and stretched for another 10, and then hobbled the 1/2 block home for coffee and a shower.

10k for time later tonight.

Thought for the day- no matter how angry you get at the pull-up bar, some old school Metallica can make you angrier.