Sunday, December 6, 2009

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 2 - a week of challenges

As promised, a big event announcement this week - which you can probably figure out from the title.  More on that in a bit - or if you want to cut right to the chase, go down to the last third of this post.  But first, the week in review.

Training-wise, it was an off week.  It started out well with a second rest day on Sunday (I ran long on Friday and have decided that my body likes two rest days after any 15+ mile run), and then a nice 4-miler on Monday.  The calves were a bit tight still from the long run, but I did get in 4.09 miles in 38:14.  Then the business trip.  A few days in Arizona for group face-to-face meetings (planning for 2010), which should have been conducive to running.  But between the late evenings (we had to keep Asia-friendly times since one of our group members was still calling in from Malaysia) and all the other meetings, I was only able to get in one run.  A nice peppy 3.11 miles in 26:57.

Unfortunately, I caught one of those "traveler's colds", where you come back with the sniffles and sinus issues, so I took it easy on Friday and Saturday.  But all things equal, I wasn't too disappointed with the weekly total of 7.20 miles in 1:05:11, considering the busy-ness of the business trip.

Friday gave the biggest challenge of all, though.  For all of my adult life, my right hip socket has felt a little tight, a little stiff.  But lately (the past 6-12 months), I've had some soreness in the lower back, glutes and side of the hip.  Sure, it could have been poor posture causing lower back pains and IT band issues - but with the chronic hip tightness, I decided to get it checked out at the Orthopedic & Fracture Clinic (if you're in the Portland area, this is the place to go for sports injuries!).  What the x-rays showed wasn't too surprising: mild dysplasia of the right hip.  For those of you that aren't familiar with it, it means the joint is malformed.  Maybe from birth, maybe a developmental defect during the growing years.  In either case, the hip bone isn't deep enough, and the end of the leg bone puts extra pressure on it.  Right now, I've probably got just mild irritation.  But eventually, it can lead to a torn labrum, osteoarthritis, or enough degeneration to warrant a hip replacement.

A = good hip; B = dysplasia
(borrowed from Wikipedia)

So.... now I need to learn more about this to find out what it means for my running "career".  The doctor said that as long is it doesn't hurt, I can keep running.  And for now, when it does hurt, I can just take time off until it doesn't hurt anymore.  But in the longer term, I need to look at the big picture - do I really want to have a hip replacement when I'm 60 or 70?  And the funny thing is, there aren't a lot of resources on the internet to educate myself about adult hip dysplasia.  There are tons of resources about hip dysplasia in dogs, and WebMD has great resources - if you're an infant.  Mayo Clinic also has great resources - if you suffer from dwarfism.  So far, the best resources I've found are on HowStuffWorks.  Apparently it's not just for mechanical and electronic stuff. :)  But if you have some resources on adult hip dysplasia, please let me know - I definitely need to learn all that I can.

Finding out that I have a condition that may significantly worsen by the pounding of running long distances has put my 2010 race schedule into question.  Three weeks ago, what I had planned to run/swim/ride was:

  • January: ORRC Y2K10 20.10k
  • February: ORRC Hagg Lake 50k
  • May: Eugene Marathon
  • August: HulaMan half-Ironman or Portland Century ride
  • October: Portland Marathon

But two weeks ago, I was accepted to be part of Team LiveSTRONG.  Specifically, to run the 2010 Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon to help raise funding for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  For those of you that don't know about the LAF, they provide support, resources and inspiration for those battling cancer as well as survivors.  The LAF is a great organization, and I encourage you to donate - whether you "sponsor" me and help me reach and surpass my goal of raising $1000 for the Seattle Marathon, or whether you find another way to contribute.

Now, based upon my medical diagnosis and my participation in Team LiveSTRONG, my race schedule looks more like:

  • January: ORRC Y2K10 20.10k ??? - maybe run the 10k?
  • February: ORRC Hagg Lake 50k ????? - really have to think about whether this is a good idea
  • June: Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon! - even if I have to walk it!
  • August: HulaMan half-Ironman or Portland Century ride xxxx - not very likely
  • October: Portland Marathon ??? - we'll see

This leaves me with some thinking to do, exactly how I want to approach training in the future.  Maybe become a cyclist like my uncle?  Maybe stick with marathoning but keep things flexible and listen carefully to what my body is telling me?  Something in between?  In any case, I now have a great objective for June with Team LiveSTRONG.  And I strongly encourage you to visit my page and donate.

Now it's time to get in a nice easy run and hopefully start out a good (but not overdone) week of training... Onward!

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