Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Tale Of The Log (Blog)

I apologize for the cryptic nature of yesterday's post, but I just didn't feel that loquacious. There was no real drama to my decision to call it a season. I got up around 5:30 as per usual and headed out the door to the River Rd. I was a little fatigued/sore from the hill work I did on Sunday, but nothing unusual. I just kept it easy. As I approached Minnehaha Park and 46th Ave I considered the fact that I could stop right there and walk straight back home. There was no real reason for the thought, it just materialized. From there it snowballed:

I can't remember what it was like to run without pain. My sore hamstring is back. Even Ed Fitz is still three weeks away. How can I run 7:20 there? How can I finish? I don't have to do it this way. I could move my surgery up. Etc, etc...

So I slowed at the stop sign, took a right, and walked straight home. It was the right decision. I've been too "unconventional" this year. Training and racing hurt among other unwise choices. I experimented, tested my body, pushed through to see where my limits were. In the end - in retrospect - um, duh?! What an idiot! If I had had the surgery in August I would be back running (easy) by now. I could have worked something out at my job with respect to time off. I took the short-term view of what was a long-term problem. Last night I compared the general tone of my posts from January/February with the most recent ones. Its like two different people writing.

So have I learned my lesson? Time will tell. Whether I get back to my current/recent level of fitness is not the question. I'm certain I will. But when presented with the same chain of events in the future, as I most likely will at some point, will I make different/better choices?

Conferring with Kurt today it was decided that sometimes a forced break is the best in the long run. And a long break this will be. I plan to do nothing - no crosstraining, stretching, what have you - for the next 23 days. If the hernia and hamstring pain subside I may choose to do my PT exercises after a couple weeks, but I'm not committing to anything. My surgery, thanks to the very patient scheduling staff at Fairview Southdale, is now on October 10. I plan to follow that with another 2-3 weeks of zero running, only rehab exercises and pool work. In total that should provide me with a six week break.

That is a scary, but necessary situation. I consider myself a pretty typcial runner, so I'm very attached to feeling fit. A six week sabbatical means I will be starting from a relatively detrained state. Like I said, I know I will get back to and surpass where I have been, but it will take time and patience. If this past season showed anything, it showed I'm not good with time and patience.

I've already begun to collect information for "Patrick's Rehab Encyclopedia". Included will be a crapload of core exercises, pool running schedules, stretch/yoga exercises, as well as collected training info from the likes of Mystery Coach, John Kellogg, Lydiard, Daniels, et al.

As far as next year? Less racing will be the order of the day. I'm putting that out there right now. I know the temptation will return once I'm healed and returning to fitness, but at this point I'm resolved to sticking to it. Although I had hoped to avoid running an ultra Spring 08, it is my only hope of qualifying for the US 100k team at this point. Here's hoping my recovery is quick.

The blogging will be sporadic up until my surgery, but after that I should be able to blog about the recovery rehab process, if for nothing other than a guide for people returning from the same injury. Sports Hernia is fast becoming a more common diagnosis as more general practitioners become familiar with the condition. There is a reason that the Letsrun post reached 900+.

That is all.


andyH. said...

good night now!

it's not all bad, now you will become even more of a madden legend.

kurt decker said...


Dude I have said it before and will say it aging. You are one of the most talented runners I have ever known. You have great things ahead of you. It is all part of the journey. Sometimes it is just more sweet than others. Stay level and you will reach where you want to go !!!

Mike said...

I think Kurt has it right.

It's been hard to think of an appropriate comment to make following the past few posts, but I did want to check in to tell you I'm glad you had the courage to stop and really take care of things.

I noticed a bit of a gray cloud over the posts during the past few months too, which was a bit of a drag since in part it's your sense of lightness and humor through what seems like a very difficult training and racing (and working/studying) regimen that I really admire. In short, you have a knack for making it look easy while keeping it fun, which are qualities I'd like to emulate.

Too often running blogs seem to look like a prison diary after awhile, with their authors feeling the need to scribble every distraction and difficult moment down as some proof that they are suffering, "yet I carry on."

Your blog is different in a good way, and it speaks well of your character.

You will no doubt be back, and better than before (with as many or more youtube linke).

Loomdog said...


I applaud your decision. II think it is time to get healed and back to a body that feels good. The fact that you can handle the mileage and workouts you have when torn up shows you (and all of us) how amazing of a runner you are. I look forward to sharing the road and trails with you next spring when you are once again rocking.

Feel free to contact me about anything that comes up in the rehab process. (I am a PT)...for now I would recommend doing some simple walking and bike riding. (Nothing crazy or more than an hour). Just something to keep you moving and keep your mind straight. You will go into "runner's withdrawl" and mentally have some "suck" time. But, atack the rehab after the surgery and you will be running again soon.

Good luck,

Patrick said...


Thanks for the encouragement guys. I am not a bit worried about runners withdrawal. So far I have felt nothing but relief - which probably illuminates better than anything how fried I was mentally.

Mike I look forward to seeing you run at TCM. I'll be all over out there. When you know you're travel schedule let me know. We should at least catch a meal together with Chad and all the other bloggers who will be in town. It could be our own little convention.

Greg, I'm bummed I won't see at JFK (not to mention not running JFK). I'm going to be a rehab machine after I let my mind and body recover for a little bit.