Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for August, 2009

Doing the Timberline Half Marathon

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 19, 2009

I registered Kirsten and I for the Timberline Half Marathon on September 20th. It will be our first trail half marathon and given the setting should be an amazing experience. I’ve finished several half marathons but all have been on pavement. I’m truly looking forward to a loop around Timothy Lake. Hopefully my leg will be feeling better by race day…

Cheers

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Still on the bench…

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 18, 2009

I’m in my 4th week of R&R and I’m getting really, really anxious to run again. The first couple of weeks were the most difficult but I’m slightly more at ease with my current reality. Deep down I know it would be wrong to put the shoes back on before I’m completely healed up. That is the strategy I used to use and it never worked out very well for me. I’m somewhat impatient and its just that I don’t know how much longer the healing process will take. Come on already…!

I’m not entirely sure what my problem is because I haven’t seen a doctor about it. I’m pretty sure it is either achilles tendonitis, or possibly a bad muscle tear in my left calf muscle. I have some pain and stiffness (especially in the morning right when I get out of bed) about 2-4 inches above my heel. I also have extremely sore muscles going in a vertical line all the way up my calf almost to the back of my knee. The deeper I push with my thumb the more tender it is. I first thought I had multiple muscle tears, but it seems more logical that the upper muscle soreness is caused by those muscles attempting to cover for the injured muscle/tendon lower down.

At this point the soreness in in my upper calf has decreased and (I hope) is almost healed. However I still have a ways to go with the lower area pain. If it is an achilles tendon problem – I’m guessing it will be awhile longer before I can run on it. I’ve read that achilles tendon problems are notoriously slow to heal.

Meanwhile, I daydream about running my favorite trail in Forest park and look forward to restarting my training for the Portland Marathon, and hopefully my first 50K or 50 miler someday soon. I’ve been adding equipment to my garage gym and my latest acquisition was a nice bike trainer. I’ve been able to put in some nice 30-40 minute rides that don’t seem to bother my sore calf. I’ve also been hitting the weights and various other strengthening exercises (pullups, pushups, situps, air squats, etc).

With the Portland Marathon coming up on October 5th – I’m not certain of my status for that race. It is clear that I won’t be prepared to go for a PR, but the question of whether I’ll be suitably trained enough to run it at all is unclear. Bummer days…

Wish me luck…

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I’m a proud owner of Vibram Five Finger KSO’s

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 14, 2009

Following on my earlier post about Vibram Five Finger shoes, I finally purchased my very own pair. Ok, part of the delay was my own procrastination, but once I decided to actually buy a pair I found it very difficult to do so. I live in a suburb of Portland, Oregon which is a very outdoor-adventure kind of city, so you would think a number of local stores would stock these shoes. And you would be wrong…

The unique design of these shoes convinced me that trying them on first would be a good idea. So, I made a trip to my local REI store and learned that they didn’t have any in stock. I checked around with other stores and received the same answer. I checked the Vibram website (which did list REI as a supplier) and found only two other stores in Oregon that carried the shoe. Unfortunately one store, Foot Zone was in Bend (3.5 hours away) and the other, Kayak Shed was in Hood River (less than 2 hours away).

Well, it just so happened that we decided to spend a weekend in Hood River for some hiking on Mt Hood this past weekend. Being the opportunist that I am, I factored in a side trip to the Kayak Shed to try on Five Fingers shoes. The folks at Kayak Shed were very helpful and I found the pair that suited my needs for fit/function (black KSO’s).

I’ve worn them a few times around the house – but I’m looking forward to some outside time to see how my feet and leg muscles handle the relative lack of structure and padding. They feel absolutely wonderful on – kind of like each toe is wrapped in a mini-hammock. Also, it goes without saying that I’ve gotten some snide comments from family members on the looks. I’ve started calling them my “monkey shoes” but we’ll see what name sticks.

Stay tuned for a follow up post later on…

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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on August 14, 2009

“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.”

– James Thurber

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