Friday, April 27, 2007

Not good

My ankle still hurts. It got better, but it still hurts. I jogged a few steps last night, and it hurt. I can't run this weekend, and I can't run this marathon. I'm really bummed. I think I wasn't so upset last week because I thought I'd get better. But now I'm really upset. I do those long runs because I know I need them for the marathon. It's tough not to get there.

Thanks for all the well wishes. I appreciate it. The advice as well. (Although the obvious solution to the weight gain issue is to eat less. So obvious. So not going to happen.) Maybe I'll take up swimming again - though it's such a pain.

I stopped by the physical therapy department today to see my friend. She gave me some exercises to do. They're basically to keep the muscles in the foot strong, but the ligaments are still going to heal. And I have no idea how long that's going to take.


Monday, April 23, 2007


It's been two and a half days since my injury. It still hurts, but I think (hope?) it's getting better. My ankle is still swollen, but perhaps a tiny bit better. The bruising is definitely more impressive, but that's to be expected.

the outside

the inside

Any thoughts I had of running this weekend disappeared pretty early. I'm still not sure how long I'll have to wait, but the most common sense advice I've gotten is to wait until there's no pain with walking. Realistically that's going to take a few more days.

In the meantime, the marathon is 13 days away. My weight is going up, and my fitness is going down. It's upsetting, but there's not much more I can do at this point. I'll just have to see how it goes.

(And to answer other people's questions, I don't have a gym membership currently. Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to use the bike or the elliptical. The problem is not with impact on my foot, it's with flexing and extending the ankle joint. Both of the above activities would probably hurt as much as running.)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bad News

I sprained my ankle on Friday.

I was less than a mile into my planned 6 mile run when I got to an intersection I always hate crossing. The traffic lights weren't working, and the cars were all out of control. So instead of paying attention to where I was going, I was looking at the cars and trying to figure out how to cross the street. I stepped off the curb without realizing it, and turned in my ankle. Ouch! I collapsed in the road and screamed in pain. I was lucky Akiva was there with me, since no cars pulled over to see if the guy writhing on the ground in pain might be having a problem.

It took a few minutes before I could take stock of what happened. The pain settled down a bit, and I kind of figured it wasn't broken. I even thought of trying to finish the run. But then I took a few steps, and I realized I was done. I tried to get Akiva to go ahead with the run, but he walked me home instead. I was about a mile from home, and it took about a half hour. A painful half hour.

When I got home I iced my ankle. Then it really started hurting. I considered going to the ER for some X-rays, but really wasn't in the mood for the hassle. I was pretty certain there was no fracture. Also, the Sabbath was starting soon, and I didn't feel like spending it in the ER.

So instead I made a few calls, and rustled up a pair of crutches. I wrapped up my ankle in an ACE bandage, and spent the next 36 hours or so on crutches. I've been icing frequently, and I'm also taking Motrin. My ankle has been wrapped almost the entire time to keep the swelling down. I'm really sticking to the RICE thing. I'd probably still be on crutches if they weren't killing the sides of my body.

Anyway, my ankle still hurts, but I think I'll be alright. It's now just a matter of how much time I'll need to be off it. I wanted to run this marathon in 2 weeks, and that's really the issue. My run Friday was cut short, and my run today is canceled. I'm in the taper period, but I don't want to completely lose my conditioning either. I guess I'll know over the next few days whether the marathon is still possible. I didn't think I was going to breeze through it anyway, so I'm not devastated. But I'm upset.

(It's also upsetting that Friday was the nicest day to run in 6 months and I couldn't run. This whole weekend is beautiful and I can't really take advantage of it.)

Anyway, what's the point of injuries if you can't take pictures and post them on your blog? So here you go. (Hope you enjoy them more than I do.)

about an hour post-injury. already swelling.

24 hours later. the marked area is swelling that's not on the other side.

bruising at 36 hours.


Monday, April 16, 2007

20 miles in the books!

The rain let up a little this afternoon, and I got in my 20 mile run. In fact, with my long pants and jacket, I was overdressed compared to the other runners in shorts and a t-shirt. (But then again, I was out there for a lot longer.)

I drove into the city to run in Central Park, since I knew the path in my neighborhood would be full of puddles. I ran the full 6 mile loop, then the lower 5, then the upper 5, and then the middle 4. (Very similar to my last 20 mile run.) That's two trips up the Harlem Hill for those who are counting.

I had a really tough time. The first 8 miles were easy. Then my knee bothered me a little, but not horribly. I stopped for the bathroom once around mile 3, and once around mile 13, where I stretched as well. Those last 7 miles were really tough. I wanted to stop again at about 18 but forced myself to push through to the end. (Kind of an exercise in mental toughness.) I wasn't running fast. It took me 3:30 of running time - compared with 3:12 for the last time. It could be that I hadn't eaten much and it was later in the day. It could be that I was overdressed. Or it could be that I'm just not as well trained, which is definitely true. I've gotten much faster, but I haven't been as consistent with my running. (The job really gets in the way of this hobby!)

In any case, it's done. I don't think the marathon will be easy, but I'm going to try and do it. I had once hoped to run 10 min miles for 4:22, but after today's effort I don't think that's realistic. I guess if I can improve on my 4:43:50 PR, I should be happy.

Unfortunately, advance registration for the May 6th Long Island Marathon is closed, so I'll have to register at the expo. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

Speaking of marathons, I registered for the NYC marathon (which is in November). The deadline for those with guaranteed entry was May 1st so I finally got around to registering. Of course, you may remember that I registered for Chicago last year, and that never happened. I think that's what is holding me back from getting excited about NYC. I do hope to train much better over the summer and fall, and hopefully work towards that 4:22 time. My eventual goal is to run a sub 4 hour marathon.

In the meantime, let the taper begin!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I ended up operating late, and I didn't feel like battling the weather today. I'll try and get this run in tomorrow, later in the day. My resolve is weakening but I do want to get this 20 mile run in, and then be "set" for the marathon as some people have commented.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm back

Back in New York, and busy already. Here's another quickie post, with pictures.

This is a map of my long run in Toronto. It's probably not obvious to people outside of Toronto, but it's a pretty cool route. I felt like I went everywhere.

This is what I bought when I got back! When I was done with them I left them outside my house. It was so cold there that they were still not fully melted 3 days later.

And finally, some pictures from the previous Sunday's Scotland Run in Central Park:

Tired, at the finish line.

With Akiva, taking our "finishing" pictures (before the race).

I haven't run since Sunday. I'm planning on running 6 miles tomorrow morning with Akiva, and then somehow I have to get in a 20 miler on Sunday. I'm on call for my group, the weather looks crappy, and I'm overall still not feeling up to it. Sigh. At least I can "taper" afterwards.

Oh, in case you haven't been checking my sidebar, I only gained 3.2 pounds over the 10 days I was gone. I consider that a victory. It's just that my goal of 20 pounds in 20 weeks - which at one point looked like it was going to be done in a month - is now down to 7 pounds in 5 weeks. It's going to be tight.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Never mind, I did it

A little over 17 miles. A little under 3 hours. The weather wasn't bad, but the ground was cold and hard. I'm glad it's in the books.

I took a pretty interesting route, and I'll post more about that when I get home.

In the meantime I'm going to wallow in the misery of the Leafs missing the playoffs. Again.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Passover Running

I spent the first few days in a hotel on Grand Island, just like last year. There's so much food in these places, that eating becomes like an endurance event. At least the Matzo was "high guality".

I was scheduled to run Thursday morning, but Wednesday night it was really snowing hard, and we were scheduled to leave early the next morning. I decided to put in the 8 miles on a treadmill. Not fun. I ran it tempo style, where I kept increasing the speed.

0.25 miles 5.5 mph 1% grade
0.75 miles 6.0 mph
1.00 miles 6.5 mph
1.00 miles 7.0 mph
1.00 miles 7.5 mph
0.50 miles 7.5 mph 0% grade
1.00 miles 7.0 mph
1.00 miles 6.5 mph
1.25 miles 6.0 mph
0.25 miles 5.5 mph
0.25 miles cooldown

Those middle miles were killers. 7.5 mph translates into an 8 minute mile. I ran last Sunday's 10K in 7:59 miles and I didn't feel as bad as I did on the treadmill. It could have been the ten pounds of Matzo still in me...

The rest of the holiday I've been in Toronto. It's freezing here. I didn't bring my warm running clothes and that's been an issue. On Friday I ran 4.5 miles but it was really cold. I had to borrow some of my family's non-running clothes to make it outside.

I ran a modified version of the route I ran the last time I was here. I think with the weather being so cold, the ground felt really hard.

I'm scheduled to run 17 miles tomorrow, but I'm really not feeling it. My legs hurt, and I hate the cold weather. I don't see doing a marathon in May if I bail on this run tomorrow, but I may skip it anyway.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Quick Update

I've been busy and haven't had a chance to put together a decent post. Tomorrow I'm leaving to spend Passover with my family, so I thought I'd get a quick one out.

Last Sunday I ran 16 miles along the West Side Highway. It's really a beautiful route.

I ran a couple of times during the week. That includes Friday where my run got interrupted by this huge police chase. I turned back the other way, and ran into the police again. There must have been 300 policeman standing around (doing nothing). Apparently these guys robbed somebody and drove off in his car. My guess is that warrants 2 policeman, if any. But then they smashed 2 police cars while trying to get away. That warrants 300 policeman speeding through traffic like maniacs. I hope Dunkin' Donuts didn't lose too much business that day...

Today I ran another race. I was planning on getting to the park early and getting in 6 miles before the 10K. I did get there early, but couldn't find parking. (That's always so annoying!) Anyway, I ended up running only a couple of miles before the race, including 1.5 miles right into the start of the race.

Since I had not been planning to really race this thing full out, I had no real plans on how to run the race. Akiva wanted to run 8 minute miles and that seemed fast to me. For the first few miles I just took it easy. Like usual, that meant I was going faster than I thought, but I really wasn't passing too many people. The next few miles were tough, but I wasn't pushing too hard. Surprisingly the splits were pretty good. At some point Akiva asked me if I was going to set a PR, but I really had no idea what my previous PR was.

As it turned out, I smashed my old PR, which I set last year at this race. Last year it took me 53:04 and this year I got that down to 49:30, for a 7:59 pace! Sweet!

(Splits: 8:52, 8:08, 7:52, 8:08, 7:39, 7:33, 1:18 (6:30))

My knees are a little sore now, but I'll be off running until at least Thursday, given the holiday schedule. If you look at my sidebar, you can see that now my 4 mile PR is now out of whack. There are two 4 mile races coming up in April, including the race where I set my PR in 2001. The thing is that if I run this marathon in May, it's probably not such a good idea to keep doing these races. I'm pretty confident I can get my 4 mile PR pace down to about 7:45, but that may have to wait for another time.