Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Where, Oh Where, Has Oilcan Gone?"

Where has Oilcan gone, if not out training for a marathon? I can say for a fact there are fewer mysterious sightings of the OC than there are of Elvis on a daily basis. You may See him at North Medical Center or out at Ocean Sushi or Starbucks, but its doubtful you’ll see the OC running.

Running has not been an option for Oilcan. As a matter of fact, if you haven’t noticed, he’s been out of the running loop and desparately wants to get back into the loop. So Oilcan will start appearing on these pages on a bi-weekly basis writing something; he’s not sure what, but it will be something to stay involved.

But really, where has Oilcan been? He has been on the DL, the disabled list. All those humorous injury stories have been realized to a high degree. Again, read his stories and don’t do what he does because its a recipie for disaster.

Ok, where do I begin… I really haven’t been the same injury free runner since training for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon with the Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I recall over training and suffering severe hamstring pain which caused me not to run for two weeks prior to the marathon. (details on my training for San Diego can be found under Bill’s TNT Tab.) I did run San Diego on May 31, 2009 and struggled severely from mile 21 to the end. the pain in my hamstring was awful, but like all addicted runners its mind over matter. The pain is pushed to the side while thoughts of completing the run take over and push you toward the end where rest and cold beer are the reward. I do believe that was the beginning of my “disk” problems.

After San Diego I took a few days off and started running again. I ran Paige’s Butterfly run; my first ever run that hooked me on running. I ran it slow with a friend and felt good. I ran the Boilermaker with that all too familiar hamstring pain. I intended to run slow, but seing other runners pass me bugged the hell out of me, so I hit the golf course and decided to pace myself and a couple of friends out for a good finishing time. I lost my two friends in the crowd, but I finished strong and fast over the last 5 miles of the run to average. just above an 8 min mile pace. I was pleased. Yet the pains were worse the next day. Walking was very tough for a few weeks. I rested for a week. I continued to run with pain. I figured that’s what happens when you push for better times.

I ran the Burn Run, and finished in pain but with a pace just under 8 mins/mile. I just brushed it off as muscle aches. The pain moved to my calf. However, knowing my pain now which is a combo of severe hamstring, calf, quad, and IT pain that radiates under my left foot I know I should have seen someone. Maybe I could’ve avoided my current debacle of walking with a cane (well a pitching wedge since I will not use a cane.) The IT and quad pain mentioned above arose from training for the Walt Disney Marathon.

I pushed it in the fall of 2009 while training for Disney. I ran the Philadelphia Half on November 22 and was pacing well until mile 11 when severe hamstring and quad pain struck. I finished with a pace near 9 mins/mile, but I could’ve done better. I felt ok before the run started and I was cruising with a plan through the city streets. I blame the hills of Dexel University for exacerbating my injuries which I ignored. A few days later I found myself in Brooklyn running the Prospect Park Turkey Trot and surpassing my previous years PPTT by 2 minutes. My knees screamed and my quads cried. But I met my goal and followed my race plan. Although not in great shape, I returned to Syracuse Saturday night and ran 18 miles alone on Sunday morning. It was snowing. I ran along 31 to Morgan Rd to Buckley Rd and up 370 where the trouble began near mile 15. I ran gimply the last three miles (something I would experience at Disney) and took a week off to run a hilly 20 miler in Cortland two weeks later.

If you have ever run the Leaf Peeper Half Marathon in Cortland you are familiar with the route we ran for the 20 miler. All the muscles in my left leg tightened at mile ten. The smart runner would have stopped. Not me. I remember saying to my running partner that if I couldn’t fight the pain of the last 10 miles how could I ever expect to beat the pain of the last six miles at Disney. I ran on and finished. I did not run again for at least a month prior to the Walt Disney Marathon. (That whole adventure is also on the Bill’s TNT Tab.)

Well with all that being said, I have not been the same since Disney.I have run off and on, but not with much confidence and with a lot of trepidation. The last time I ran without pain was the first Mountain Goat training run this year. A few days after it was all she wrote. All the left leg pain in the world returned. The exercises given to me by PT no longer worked. However, The oxycodone and Skelaxin cocktail made me “feelgood” but it did little for the pain.

The moral of this long drawn out story is to be careful. Listen to your body. Take time off after races and long runs. Don’t worry about going fast when training. Go slow; save your knees, muscles, and tendons for another day. If you hurt bad, see your doctor and let her make the appropriate diagnosis and referrals. Following a conservative approach to running, especially if your just starting and 40+. I don’t want you to hear those infamous words, “Where have you been?” Be smart and do as I say not as Ihave done.

See you on the road.