Friday, May 10, 2013

2013 Indy Mini Replay

This spring has mirrored last spring in very few ways for me. Last spring I was fit, but not as fast or as strong as I am now. Last spring the days were often warm and sometimes hot and muggy while winter has lingered long enough to cause me to greet the sun in long sleeves and tights at the closing of April. Both of those situations are, of course desirable.

The major difference for me this year has been minimal cycling. Because of the fact that I had no early season duathlon races on the calendar, I did not feel a need to be out there hammering on the bike. And the desire to ride was greatly minimized by my inability to get comfortable on the bike. That said, the Ricky Bobby bug hit me in early April and I have been out there consistently riding in 35-50 degree weather, multiple thunderstorms, and constantly brisk winds for a month. But I was never comfortable and tinkered with my position and a constantly swiveling seat all month.

One week out from the Indy Mini I cruised through a relatively quick hour-plus run and quickly jumped onto the bike for a fast hour long ride. After the ride I noticed that the seat had swiveled down again for the first time in two weeks. A lot!  Within two hours my left hip, left gluteal muscles, and left lower back were extremely tight and aching. The next morning I abandoned the idea of running due to the tightness. I also tabled the option of not running the Mini - my goal spring race.

By Thursday morning I knew I would run around the Speedway. The hip and arse had loosened up nicely. I found myself holding back during my last run.

A meandering journey up the new, speedy, and isolated I-69 was fun since it included not only a buffalo burger and pre-race brew at Bloomington's Upland Brewery, but also a visit to the beautiful Oliver Winery. No tastings for me, just a resupply and gander at the well kept green space of winery property.

Not all rooms in the Marriott Courtyard look over the start line.
When the race started I ran a relaxed first mile in 5:52 and, sensing that all was well, I then picked it up to run low 5:40s. My goal was to average under 5:50 per mile. That was what I had trained for.

Just after the four mile mark, though, I heard and felt an audible pop while making a hard left turn. There was immediate discomfort, but it wasn't awfully painful. My left foot was pointing out almost 45 degrees. Several muscles were soon sending out distress signals and began tightening up. In an effort to "make it right again" I began making inside/outside fanning motions with the left knee, one of which created another audible pop. Things were better, but not normal.
These guys may now be the new norm at these big events. (See the race winner?)
This popping and leg swinging occurred several more times. Unfortunately, the tight muscles instantly shortened my stride and slowed me to 6:05-6:18 pace. That was certainly frustrating. I pondered quitting several times, but a leg swing would make it feel a little better and I would continue down the road. I decided that a single sharp pain would be enough to stop. That never occurred.

My finishing time of 1:19:32 was about three minutes slower than I intended to run. Those who know we well know that I always predict my time (and those of people I coach) within seconds. A glance at the Polar HR data reveals that I only "raced" for about three miles. The average HR of 166 and max HR of 171 were both well under my normal 174ish ave and 181ish max for a half marathon.

As I write this report several days later I know things are not back to normal. I felt the hip a little while I rode my bike on the local airport tarmac last night. It took more than a mile for my hip and arse to loosen up during a 5K training run (20 min) this morning.  There is an upcoming appointment with a respected and accomplished pair of hands that are controlled by a great mind. Hopefully, he can help me get that region under control.

Almost there and not intending to be passed again.
Meanwhile, I am bummed about not being able to run hard, but I am not distraught. There is SO much more to life than running. Just as I have more than a thousand times before, I will just focus on the other aspects of life while I patiently wait for normalcy to return.

And there is much to do as I plan and prepare (rest up!) for another action packed summer in the western high country.     Shane

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