Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 19- March 26

Monday: Ran to the gym, 3.6 miles, and did a full "tony" workout session. The workout was great, i did the full routine and aded two hip abductor workouts. It kinda surprises me that i am now able to lift way past my weigh and not be as exhausted as i was the previous sessions. My run on the other hand was great. I was able to run from home to the gym without any problems or dis-confort. This is huge news for me because before i was not able to run for stretches like this on plane ground without feeling my knee problem 15 minutes in the run. This is amazing and i am so excited to get 100% healthy.
Tuesday: Walked 1 mile to bart station to go to the gym and ran back home 3.6 miles. Today i did a session of a "dynamic stretch/core workout" at the gym. After feeling a little low on fuel this past weekend and forcing myself to have a good effort workout yesterday i decided to buy a baby blue color Gatorade today and i was amazed at how much energy it gave me. Is been a long time since i had one of these and it brought back memories on the kind of energy i had in the past. As i got off bart 10 blocks away from the gym and as i was walking there i was feeling like everyone was on my way just blasting past everyone with such a fast stride. At the gym i did a 30 minute dynamic stretch/core workout that incorporated some conventional workouts like jumping jacks, high knees, and but kickers to other nonconventional workouts i picked up at a video from indiana university runners at a sports facility.
My run back home was fantastic. I ran the first 2.5 miles at a comfortable pace and once i saw that it was safe, and since i was feeling fantastic, i gradually increased the pace the last mile. I had no dis-confort in my knee or any sharp pains, i was just gliding like i hadn't done in a long time. Is weird how i had forgotten how it felt like to run without worrying if my knee was ok, or trying my best to run properly to not irritate my knee and get the sharp pinch at the side of my knee. Today was just pure pleasure. I cant wait till i go to Montara or Sausalito for spring break and run a bit. In the mean time, i think i will continue to run to or from the gym. I don't want to run too much right now specially this recent in my recovery and specially in concrete. What a fantastic news!
Wednesday: Boot camp and spin tonight. After having a rough night of not sleeping at all, don't know why, i survived both classes with a great effort. Boot camp tonight was brutal, Tony's torture chamber as Nick says was at full speed. Usual rotation of 7 stations with assorted exercises that just drain you out drop by drop. Spin was as usual, torture. I just can't believe how the girls do so well at that. They seem not to get tired, every time i look towards them i see them doing the workout watching every little detail. I noticed that they also hardly sweat, while i soaked my shirt completely tonight. On the other hand i just fall apart on certain sections and have to retreat a bit to not completely stop. I will get stronger and my endurance will increase. It has been no more than 8 classes since i started these classes and i also need to point out that i had absolutely no quad strength. I should provably say leg strength in general. Great results this week overall.
Thursday: Early morning Whale's cove trail run, 6.7 miles at about 1:20 hours (50 min. up to peak 30 min. down). I felt tired borderline exhausted from boot camp and spin yesterday but i gave it a shot and managed to pull through with about the same effort as i usually do. This morning unlike the last couple runs here i have avoided running down-hill, not today. As i ran up to north peak i felt like, although tired, i wanted to test my knee and see where i was at considering my great effort over the last two weeks in the gym. About a mile down-hill, i noticed a pinch similar to the usual one that bothers me on a different place however. The pinch was a bit below the usual one on the side of my left knee. It was on the lower side of my left knee and only pinched for about two minutes and then it went away for good. The rest of the run was solid and a lot of fun. Good sign but still about two weeks in to the estimated six week rehab at Valencia Muscle. I should point out that i still need to focus on gym work and minimal runs. I noticed that my leg, from feet to hip, tensed up like it usually happened in the past. It happened today after this run. The weird part is that i had come from a couple days of uninterrupted gym workouts and no long runs like this one and no tension on my legs. What i get out of this is that 1) My leg tenses up when i run long runs. 2) My leg seems to be free from tension when i work out at the gym. Why does this happen? I can't be certain of anything in specific. It could be that the heavy lifting is really helping my legs and it could also be that the stretching i do after every workout is also helping. Maybe its the boot camp and spin class responsible. I don't know for sure. And so the solution is going to have to be a mix of about 80% of the gym work i have been doing at the gym and 20% running just to remind my body that it needs to keep strong running form. I would do gym work 100% but then after i would have to start running from scratch when i finnish my treatment.
Friday: Light evening dynamic stretch/core routine at the gym with about 15 min. run in an incline treadmill. The routine was from the U of Indiana program and it consisted mainly of leg stretching exercises while on your feet and some laying down. Routine, nothing interesting to say besides that.
Saturday: Boot camp and spin. Super tough sessions today with Jeff torturing us at boot camp and John at spin. Worked very hard today. Is interesting how on spin i am pushed to the limit and so far can't do the full routines. At some points specially when doing the sprint i need to abandon the sprint 5 seconds before the session finishes. The sprint consists of you standing on your bike and pedaling as fast as you can working your quads for about 30 seconds sometimes a full minute. Towards the end of the 30 seconds i hurt so much that the fight or flight sets in and have to stop. It is important to mention that i still don't have the quad strength that i should have due to my injury and avoiding a lot of leg work. Looking back on the limit thing, it is interesting to constantly, twice a week in my case right now, visit that limit and try to re-write that line that holds me back due to current fitness. To think that that limit is going to be pushed further and further every time i set foot in that class and work hard is motivating me in a different way. I have never looked at my fitness from this perspective before and so i feel in a way supported. I think that is what happens when you have a clear goal in mind, one that is visible and in your face. It is not the same as running where you compete against someone else and have variables that you can't control and in spin where the only opponent is your fitness. Your current fitness, which keeps changing for better or worst, is your only opponent and once you hit that point of intensity you just can't do much about it.
Sunday: Off

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday March 11-Sunday March 18

Monday: 2nd session of Physical therapy today with tony at Valencia Muscle. Intense workout as i lifted about twice my weigh on the leg press. John noticed Tony and i were working and immediately told us i needed to lift twice my weigh on the leg press and on other areas. I appreciate John looking out for me like that, he is awesome. Other heavy stuff with legs included dead lifts and thighs workouts.

Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Still feel weak from whatever i caught last saturday . It feels like just a sore throat but the weakness i've been feeling the last few days makes it something more serious than a simple sore throat. I made an effort and made it to the gym today and do at least maintenance. With boot camp and spin class today it was hardly maintenance however. Managed to survive both boot camp and spin. Great effort at boot camp today. Spin however was another story. I felt very weak and so 15 minutes in i decided i was not going to push through the ups and downs. Cardio is unforgiving especially when you are not completely present, insight for future races. We usually do a combination of sprints resistance and more resistance at spin class. I instead opted for giving a nice flat effort from start to finish, no ups or downs no easy nor tough for me today. I did and i'm glad i did it. Felt a little stiff at the end for stretching but glad i took and followed through on my decision.
Thursday: Gym weight training today. Worked on the same routine i do with Tony and added 2 hip flexor workouts at the end. I was able to do the leg press with about 95 and 185lbs. of weigh and the rest of the workouts comparable to my last session with Tony. My legs feel great, super strong with less dis-confort due to tightness or weakness. The sharp pain on the side of my left knee however persists. When i feel this pain is mostly when i take days off and sit around for long periods of time. Tuesday i felt this a couple times. Today after my workout i felt no dis-confort whatsoever on this issue. I think time and   consistency at the gym is going to get me where i want to be. I just need to be patient and do what i need to do on a daily basis.
Friday: Ran at one of Valencia Muscle's treadmill today. I felt that the usual pain on the side of my knee that usually bothers me did not appear today. I however felt other stuff going on on my left knee that i had never felt before. I felt a slight quad soreness on the inner quad right above my knee. I feel that is nothing to worry about, i have the feeling is a muscle that was not working in the past and recently activated due to the intensive leg strengthening i've been doing. For the most part, i feel fired-up because for a long time i had not run 30 minutes on a flat surface without feeling the usual pain after 15 to 20 minutes after. Sometimes after 5 minutes i would stop running confused and upset. Now that i think about it, it makes sense that lifting twice your body weigh was going to be the best thing to do to prepare for running. When running you are constantly on one foot at a time and literally jumping on one foot putting all your weigh on a single leg. Great day overall.
Saturday: Off, i am disappointed on missing boot camp and spin today. A morning of cooking with the family is more important. I will feast (or i shall call it, carbo-loading) today and continue with training tomorrow.
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Sunday, March 11, 2012

MondayMarch 5-Sunday March 11

Monday- AM: Gym workout today, did a session of my rehab routine. Light assisted stretch at PM with Karla.
Tuesday- AM: Excellent 3.3 mile run (46min.) from McNee Ranch entrance to North Peak. Not only did i run up to NP without any knee pain or inflammation but i hiked back (1 hour) downhill without pain or dis-confort whatsoever on my left knee. I did felt a little dis-confort on my right knee for about 5 minutes but nothing series enough to elaborate upon. Looks like what i'm doing for rehab is working well and i should continue patiently for a month +. I need to be patient and not attempt to run downhill, run too much  or long distances. PM: Light stretch and didn't need to ice my knee in the afternoon or at night.
Wednesday- AM: EXCELLENT Hazelnut loop run this morning. 28 min to the peak and 46 min hike down the hill. Didn't feel any pain or dis-confort on either knees as i ran and hiked an easy morning. Took the time to stretch for a bit before and after the run/hike, excellent news.
PM: Boot camp and spin class. I think Tony was angry during bot camp today and really made us pay for it. A lot of sit-ups and some combat combinations that were fun also. Spin class today felt so hard. Because i did a morning run and a hard effort in spin class i will never know if up to that point i was just tired or if it was a more difficult than usual class all-together. The important thing here is that i pushed way beyond my limit today and i raised the bar higher for myself. Good stuff!
Thursday- Active day off today. 5 mile walk to Noe Valley and cooled down my knee in cold water tub.
Friday: No Second Physical Therapy session today. Tony was out sick, re-scheduled for Monday. Maintained daily cardio session at the gym on the bike. 10 minute to surpass my 160 HR at a level 12. Nice stretch to cool off at the end. Deep stretch at home also, is amazing how sometimes penetrating to "pain territory" could be so tolerable. The quad stretch that has put me to tears during the last week was welcomed with open arms today. Didn't bother resisting it.
Saturday: Boot camp today was not what it sounds like. It was more like a warm-up. I bet the girls thought about this too. Spin class was also a little lame for me. With a crowded class, i didn't get a bike of my own and John was nice enough to lend me his. The bike however comes equipped with pedals that need appropriate shoes in order to get a good grip. I didn't have them and as a result my workout was a good 8 in effort. Got to talk to John today and i got some things about my knee cleared up. I now know my recovery path in it's entirety. Now the thing is to implement the information on solid training.
Sunday: Off

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monday February 27-Sunday March 4

Monday- Extensive IT Band stretching and beating with the softball and glass bottle. I really beat the heck out of my it band.
Tuesday- 3.5 mile minimal run at Hazlenut trail today. Felt good the first 2 miles and then i felt a slight pain on my left knee. I was able to finnish the trail with minimal pain.
Wednesday- Boot camp and spin class today in the city. I thought last week's boot camp was tough but today's spin class took it to another level. The back to back boot camp and spin class is unique and will get my fitness to the next level if i do both Wednesday and Saturday classes offered and combine that with something else during the week.
John at Valencia Muscle diagnosed me with Patelofemoral Pain Syndrome today. I a'm just thinking to myself, "wrong diagnosis, wrong freekin treatment". A lot of time "wasted" but at the end of it all, i'm starting to see the light. I start treatment with John on Friday and will continue for a couple months. I already cancelled Montara 50K and will cancel April's race as well if i have to to focus on getting 100%. I hope this puts an end to this misery.
Thursday- Excited to start a new recovery process that seems to be the right one.
Friday- First rehab session today went great. Four or five Quadricep strengthening exercises followed, each one, by a specified stretch. I am surprised on how your body communicates to you based on your needs. Some of the stretches Tony applied on me today i have done in the past on my own without even knowing about them from the internet or any physical therapy program. First day of Physical Therapy is over with a lot of skepticism based on my past experiences but with a lot of faith it will be successful. I know some day i will come across the right exercise, training, physical therapist, yogi, chiropractor, or whatever else i have tried in the past and get this over and done with. Most likely though, is going to be a combination of all of the above.
Saturday- Boot camp and spin class today at the gym. I am feeling stronger doing the spin class, positive not only because i'm getting in shape but because my quads is the main thing i need to strengthen for my Patelofemoral Pain Syndrome problem. Today i was able to stand up and do the sprint spin series almost to it's entirety. Lifting off the bike seat and pedaling as fast as your legs can power while keeping yourself steady for 30 seconds takes a whole lot of balls. Boot camp today surprisingly was completely different from Wednesday's class. James, the instructor, focused on upper body weigh training and abs workouts. The last really revealed that i have a weak core. With a couple more sessions i will be better.
Sunday- EXCELLENT 2 mile Hazlenut trail run to the mountain peak with my minimalists shoes. Didn't want to aggravate my knee with inflammation so i hiked down the peak in about an hour. I felt great, no inflammation and no pain at all. 2 miles might not seem much at all right now but the road towards getting healthy is going to start with baby steps. I hope to repeat this up-hill run down-hill hike for a couple weeks until i get quad strength to allow me to run longer.