June of Injuries

*** Time Period: June 2011 ***

Goodbye KFM

Three months ago, I planned to run my very first full marathon distance via the Kawasan Falls Marathon (KFM) on July 24. Later on, my plans were reduced to joining KFM’s half marathon category and improve on my 02:35:55 21-kilometer time. I figured that I’m still adjusting to minimalist/barefoot running and my training would not be sufficient.

June 1, 2011 should have been the start of my training for a sub-2:15 half marathon finish. But lo and behold, injuries would come knocking on my door and eventually grounded me (hopefully not for long). It’s sad but I guess I’ll have to kiss KFM goodbye…

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

First to hit me was the dreaded iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) during the first week of the month. I was running around Cebu Business Park one cloudy Thursday evening when suddenly I felt pain on the outside portion just above my left knee. I tried stretching it out but as soon as I started running again, the pain elevated that I nearly lost my balance.

Because of ITBS, I was forced to rest for a week. Good thing it was not that bad. Coupled with the advices from F1 Runner (performing foam roller exercises) and Tsinelas Runner (wearing ITB strap when running), and doing some yoga poses for ITB, I was able to run more comfortably, although from time to time I can feel the pain creeping in, but not enough to make me stop running.

Run for BB3 Superheroes Run 16K (June 5 2011)

Probably the best thing for June as far as my running is concerned was joining this event, which aimed on helping the children cancer patients of one of the better hospitals of Cebu, organized by the running team of the Code Blue Runner. The route is from Chong Hua Medical Arts to Cabancalan area, passing thru Escario St. and Banilad Road, then back.

16K Finisher @ Run for BB3 Superheroes Run

My second 10-miler, I wore my KAI-N-VC and aimed on finishing the race in less than 2 hours. I started out at 6:00+/km pace up to 6 kilometers, then slowed down to 7:00+/km pace for the succeeding 4 kilometers, after which my pace decreased again to 8:00+/km until kilometer 14. At this point, my right leg started to suffer from cramps that I stopped, stretched and walked almost the whole stretch of Escario Street.

I never looked at my running time and felt I cannot achieve my target sub-2 hours anymore. As I passed by Cebu Provincial Capitol towards the homestretch, I thought I should finish strong so I ran as fast as I can. As I neared the finish line, I pumped my right fist and said “Yes!” because I will have a sub-2 hours 16k! I crossed the end point in 01:54:10! Wooohooo! Celebrating my little achievement – my new personal record (PR)!

As happy as I am with my new PR, I was also concerned about my pacing, noticing my declining speed during the race. Remembering what my colleague Loloy, a many time marathon finisher, told me – start slow and relaxed for the first 25% distance, run faster for the next 25%, recover and relax for 25%, then run your heart out for the homestretch.

Lesson learned: Insert more tempo runs when training.

Painful Right Foot

X-ray revealed no fracture or dislocation, thank GOD!

A week after posting my new PR, I felt a nagging sting on the top of my right foot. I tried to rest it but the pain will not go away. A swelling has also developed, but as stubborn as I am, I continued to run until the pain became unbearable and I have trouble even walking.

I believed my 2nd right metatarsal was hurt and feared it was stress fracture. So I went to see a bone-and-joint diseases specialist and was relieved when the x-ray results came out and revealed a bone spur on my heel, instead – no fracture or dislocation – thanks GOD. The doctor said it’s just synovitis on one of my metatarsal joint. Good to hear that doc! But he recommended that I do not run until I can walk pain-free. Oh my! And also, I should watch my diet because lately I’ve been eating lots of oily and fatty food. Maybe my uric acid level has gone above the normal proportion again.

Home Exercises & Swimming

For the meantime, I can’t just sit back, rest my right foot and do no exercise at all, so I figured to find other activities to make myself sweat. I used my dumbbells again and performed other “no equipment needed” activities like sit-ups and planks.

I recalled my wife Espie would love to learn how to swim, so I told her that we should go to a pool every now and then. Good thing my brother-in-law owned a unit in one of the newest condominium in Cebu City, The Persimmon, and it has a nice 3-lane 25-meter swimming pool. I don’t know how to swim too, so we invited friends to teach us.

The Persimmon's 3-lane, 25-meter swimming pool (photo by Christian Abella)

I was surprised that swimming can really pump up your heartbeat when executed properly and I can feel sweat dripping all over my body even if I am soaked in water. By the end of June, I think I know now how to breath properly when swimming freestyle, and I think I’m beginning to like swimming.

Because of my limited activities – ran only 57 kilometers, my lowest in 5 months, and swam a kilometer, I gained weight and ended up at 199 pounds by month’s end! Oh my! Funny how easy it is to gain weight and how difficult it is to lose it! I don’t know when I can go back to running but I trust GOD is in control of everything, and HE will heal my hurting right foot and make me run again in HIS proper appointed time. Besides, I can start swimming and lift weights and do other stuff more often. Until then, I will be patiently and faithfully waiting. Thank You LORD!

My First Semester 2011 of Running
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