I have to say that patience has never been a strong point for me, and yet, that seems to be what this injury is requiring. Training for a IM 70.3 with an injury really puts a crimp in training plans. I started off after Albany with no concerns about being ready for the run portion of my IM 70.3. After all, I have ran 8 half marathons in the past year, so I know how to train for the run, and I know I can get prepared fairly quickly for that part. However, my bike and swim portions, mainly bike, were a concern.
Well, the tides are shifting. I’m now 2 1/2 months post marathon and just over 4 months from my IM 70.3, and I’m still dealing with this injury, so now the run is becoming a concern. On May 11th, I had my first run more than 3 minutes since Albany. I was able to complete 2.72 miles in 30 minutes after a 30 mile ride. This was HUGE for me. My leg wasn’t totally better, but the pain was mostly subsided, but it did let me know it was still not quite right, so I figured I’d stick to the one run a week for another week or two, and I’d keep my long mid-week run on the elliptical for a few more weeks. The following Sunday, May 18th, I tried my 2nd run. I had a 25 minute run after a 2 hour bike ride, and as soon as I started my run, I felt pain from my hip, down the outside of my hamstring (found out today that it’s actually my quad, the vastus lateralis muscle), in the back of my knee, and to the top of my outer calf. This pain was a familiar pain. In case you are new to my blog, back prior to my marathon, I had pain in this area and took 2 weeks off leading up to the marathon, so it seems like I’m solving a problem in reverse with my injury. My guess is that all of these pains are related and each one has caused the next in some way, so I’m hoping we’re now to the center of the “onion” so to speak, and once we get this pain resolved I’ll be able to run regularly again. I don’t have anything that I remember prior to this pain in my marathon training, but who knows.
At today’s physical therapy, the PT dry needled some more trigger points in my hip and down the vastus lateralis right behind my IT band. Today’s dry needling was the most painful I’ve had yet, and my calf and knee started throbbing in the back where it did when I was running Sunday as soon as I stood up. According to the PT, this is a good thing because if we’re recreating the pain, then that means we’re in the right area. I hope so because it hurt like hell. I can usually talk to the PT through the dry needling, and today, I had to shut up for most of it.
As far as my training goes, I typically have 3 swims a week, 3 bike rides (2 with short T-runs following), 2 days of strength & core, and 1 long run done on the elliptical. In the last couple of weeks, I’m starting to get a second cardio workout added in on a swim day, and I feel like I’m struggling some with recovery, so I’ve been looking into nutrition some. I’ve felt like I need more protein for a while, and I questioned it a lot during marathon training, and I thought my recovery after some runs was slow due to it, so I asked Coach Chuck (http://peakracingteam.com/) about it. I am usually around 10-15% of my calories from protein, so I’m going to try to increase that to closer to 35% since endurance athletes need more protein. Right now, I think the attempt at switching this is definitely taking its toll. I’m admittedly a carb addict, so cutting carbs to increase the protein and fat in my diet is proving to be difficult. It’s also making me completely rethink what I use for fuel during rides and runs, so instead of switching to something else, I’ve been doing my long rides and elliptical runs without any fuel which probably isn’t good. I’ve been able to get my protein up to 20% so far, and increasing it more just seems like work, but I’m going to keep working towards 35%.
All of this being said, I now feel like I could survive the swim for my IM 70.3 since I swim more than the distance 3 times a week, and I think I will be ready by Sept for the bike distance as well since I’m up to 30 miles. My neck does tighten up on the rides, but I haven’t had any numbness in my hand from the nerve like last year, so I feel pretty confident that won’t be an issue. I did have some weakness in my left hand from carpal tunnel and the position/shape of my aero bars, but after a fit and new aero bars from Podium Multisport in Atlanta those issues are better. I have also bought a new saddle since my last post which along with the fitting and new aero bars now allows me to stay in the aero position for a much greater portion of my long rides. I bought a Koobi Tri saddle (http://www.koobi.com/koobitri.aspx) and the Profile Design T-3 plus carbon aero bars (http://podiumms.com/collections/aero-bars/products/profile-design-t3-plus-carbon). Matt and Andy at Podium are awesome, and I’ll definitely be doing a lot more business with Podium (http://podiumms.com/).
Now, if I can just get this leg/hip/knee thing to cooperate, I think I can get prepared for the run portion of the IM 70.3, but I’m starting to feel like I’m running short on time.