It was an up-and-down week with my knee but it ended on a more positive note and so I'm almost certain that I'll be on the start line on Saturday at the Ice Age Trail 50. Here goes:
Monday (Apr. 29): off
Tuesday (Apr. 30): AM 6 miles, :43, 7:10/mile, out-and-back on Cap City Trail. Some pain, but mostly ok as I tested out the knee for the first time this week. AM/PM 1600m swim.
Wednesday (May 1): AM 6.5+ miles, :48, 7:18/mile, out-and-back along Lake Monona to Turville Park. I was reduced to the ground after 3 miles of easy running when severe pain began shooting down my leg. I couldn't have been more pissed off. Not good at all, and very frustrating. AM/PM 1600m swim. The best news of the day: I talked with my friend Hank Southgate and he gave me some tips on mending the injury -- this made me feel much more confident in a possible recovery before Ice Age.
Thursday (May 2): AM 35 minutes stationary bike, strength/core workout.
Friday (May 3): AM 55 minutes stationary bike, strength/core workout.
Saturday (May 4): AM 7 miles, 1hr:10, 10:00/mile, Kettle Moraine Park. Went with Brian Condon and ran (ehem, ran, walked, then ran again) the Ice Age Trail from highway 12 toward Rice lake. My knee felt ok the first 1.5 miles, followed by shooting pain and difficulty walking for 2.5 miles, then, after massaging my upper IT band for a few minutes, ending with 3 miles of running pain free at a good pace. This is the most bizarre injury I have ever had, and I don't like it!
Sunday (May 5): PM 9.5 miles, 1hr:09, 7:22/mile, Kettle Moraine Park. Finally, a pain free run! We ran from highway 12 toward highway H on this one and ascended about 1,250' feet. Parts of this section are supposed to be some of the more technical portions of the course and, based on what I saw, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of technicality (I didn't find it very technical).
When I was able to run at Kettle Moraine this week, I felt really strong. I've focused quite a lot on strength/core work this year, which includes some plyometrics, dynamic stretches, and balance work, and I think this will pay big dividends on race day. Although I managed less hill work than I might have liked, my winter/spring was staked with speed work, and I think that the benefits will carry over nicely to the trail on Saturday. I am seeing a physical therapist in Milwaukee on Tuesday and a sports massage therapist in Wednesday and, so long as I can get to the start line, and so long as my hip/knee/IT band/whatever the problem is, can hold up, I'm very confident in my ability to perform well this weekend. Excited to race a competitive field here in Wisconsin!
Weekly Totals: 29 miles, 3hrs:30, plus a few miles of swimming, some miles biking, and more strength/core work.
April Totals: 265 miles, ~32 hours. Much reduced volume in April due, largely, to two races and an injury.