Sunday, June 29, 2014

Runners, Runners Everywhere

Had my knee injected a couple of weeks ago with "Durolane" (stabilized hyaluronic acid) to relieve the painful arthritis that I've been dealing with for a few months.  The injection takes 3-4 weeks to reach it's peak effect and can be expected to be last for +/- 6 months.   Lots of water running; the introduction of the Alter G (anti-gravity treadmill); and walking has kept me moving.  I'm approaching the 3 week mark and have been running very conservatively for 30 min (2 min run; 3 min walk intervals) without issue. Lots of standing and hills on my bike will aggravate my knee, but it settles by the next day.  So far so good...

The other thing I considered was a change in running shoes.  This gets a bit more complicated - lots of reading and talking to people.  So I've basically got 3 pair of runners on the go....

Asics - Gel Nimbus
I've been using these for a number of years and chose them for the amount of cushioning they have. Not convinced they are the wrong shoe for me, but thought I'd explore some other options.  They have ~8 mm heel elevation, which I have only recently become aware of in comparing them to the Hoka's and Altra's.

Hoka One One - Bondi 3
These shoes have a huge sole of spongyness - 4 mm heel elevation.  It feels like the sole splays out as you strike the ground to absorb the shock of foot contact.  I'm still trying to be a mid-foot striker, but I find it hard to tell if I'm successful or not.  Not a fan of the laces, but easily changed. The lateral side digs into the bottom of my malleolus (feels "bruised" after a run of an hour.) I find my heel slips in them, which is another reason to change the laces out. Unsure about these ones, although I'm running on the anti-gravity treadmill for 1 - 1.5 hours at 50% of my body weight.   I know marathon/ultra distance runners who have switched to them and find them very tolerable.

Altra - Olympus
I'm trying these shoes with caution as they are a "zero drop" shoe (flat foot, similar to barefoot running or minimalist runners), but have a very roomy and wide toe box.  I've had several knowledgeable sources say to work up to wearing these shoes because the Asics are 8mm, Hokas are 4 mm heel elevation, so I may have an increased risk of calf/achilles strain with the sudden change in heel elevation.  I think this is reasonable and common sense advice to follow.  I do like the fit - especially the heel cup in the women's size and the lower lateral side doesn't bump my malleoli).  The Olympus is the trail running model, but of the 3 Altra models, it has the most cushioning.

I haven't come to a final conclusion yet on which one is most suitable for me, but as I progress my running to longer duration with less walking (and injury free - fingers crossed xx) I hope to have a conclusion.  

Dang, runners are expensive.....

Happy training - Ciao, Cindy

Sunday, June 8, 2014


AND.... not only did I get a promotion in the pool, I had a PB by 46 sec on my 500m time trial!!  Good thing, or Elmar may have demoted me.  I haven't had a big improvement like that in a long time. Very happy to have my coach and see improvements when I'm consistent with work outs.  Now to keep up with my lane mates, please be patient with me :) .... 

Reviewing my last blog post - my ride to Drum was pretty good.  I rode highway 9 instead of the secondary highway through Acme and the wind was not bad at all - I got in 102 km and there were even some corners along with a wide shoulder.  I started just off highway 1/9 intersection and stopped for a quick break at the gas station in Beiseker.  As I'm pulling in - a couple of guys on Harley's wave me in to park beside them.  We had a little chat - where you heading, nice ride, the usual banter between bikers and cyclists - it made my day!  

Can you be patient when you're going stir crazy? 
I have been very patient with my stupid arthritic knee and it's making me crazy.  I got in to see a sports med Doc at Winsport - and after a couple of visits to discuss options, I decided to try a visco-supplementation injection in my left knee.  Should do for 6 months of pain relief, and takes about 3-4 weeks to be fully effective.   I had the injection on Thurs and 72 hours of no activity.  Three days is a long time when it includes a weekend.  My knee was sore on Friday and Sat, but today felt back to normal. I'll get back to my workouts this week, take it easy with walk/run and see how it feels.  If it's still sore I'll continue on the elliptical.  The Alter G treadmill is currently under repair, so that's aggravating and trying my patience. 

Happy training, Ciao Cindy

FYI - if you need a referral to sports med, get your family Dr. to refer you to Winsport - they opened April, 2014 and they don't have a huge wait list, yet.