In No-Man’s Land

I didn’t necessarily plan it this way, but the break from running seemed to have included a break from blogging as well.  I don’t think that it was due to my fingers needing a rest, but rather my hesitancy to discuss repeated boring elliptical sessions or my equally boring day to day doings.  I would love to report that the recovery period is over, but things have not gone as I had hoped….

After going to Los Angeles following the national meet I passed up the trails and boardwalk paths of Manhattan Beach in order to hopefully shake my heel/achilles ache and give my legs a long deserved break.  I hit the elliptical every day (sometimes twice), 45-60 minutes at a time.  After a week in California I finally got home and started hitting the HydroWorx pool for easy miles and an occassional morning spin class.  Heel was feeling pretty good and I felt like I was doing a decent job maintaining my fitness.

While my heel was feeling a little better, the shin hematoma wasn’t doing as well.  After a week the bump, lower leg swelling, and tenderness was still there, and it would ache when I got up from sitting or laying down for extended periods.  I eventually made an appointment with my doc just to make sure it wasn’t something more than a nasty bruise.  After checking it out he decided to see if he could get any fluid out of it – first tried the needle with little results (which he said was a good thing), then the scalpal.  At least that was what he told me as I had long since passed out.  It’s been 5 days since the ‘procedure’ and the bumb has gone down a lot and the local pain has almost gone away altogether.

2 weeks of rest and a deflated shin, I should be back in business.  If it were only so easy and I was only so lucky.  I don’t know how or why, but in the last couple days my achilles ‘situation’ as progressed from very localized heel soreness to borderline pain in the achilles itself.  Not good.  I had planned to fire things back up this week, almost 6 weeks before the 5th Ave Mile in New York City, but now I don’t know what to do.  I guess I will be heading back to the doctor to see if I can get a picture taken or at least hear what his risk vs gain opinion is.  This is strikingly similar to last year when I pulled my hamstring right about this time of the year and was forced to recover then train for this race in about the same amount of time.  The difference between last year and now is that last year I pulled my hamstring 6 weeks prior, then started to heal.  With this year’s injury I don’t know if it is getting better or whether I am still making it worse.  Not knowing is very frustrating…

Currently on a two-day trip, might just take one last total break and then get a medical opinion.  Either way my crystal ball shows more training off the streets at least in the short term.  Last year I spent a solid month in the pool babying my hamstring and was still able to do some late fine-tuning and run a good race in NYC.  I have my fingers crossed that this years problem can be solved with a heel-lift or a couple days off, but I’m not holding my breath.

Either way the hiatus is over.  This will either become a training blog for the third phase of the running season, or a recovery blog describing the miraculous healing properties of the underwater treadmill.  Stay tuned, let’s hope for the former….


About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
This entry was posted in 5th Avenue Mile, Aquatic Fitness, Competitive Races, Hydrotherapy, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Running, Running Injuries, Training for Runs, USATF Outdoor Nationals, Water Running and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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