An Encouraging 11 KM Run

Last night I met running friends Uli and Bernd at our local research center for a run. We headed over the mostly dirt paths towards Karlsruhe, Uli has had knee problems and my leg is still healing, so we opted for the softer path option. Bernd just completed a 3:23 marathon a couple weeks back so was like a Porsche stuck in second gear as Uli and I dictated the pace. We wound our way over 11 km (6.8 mi.) at an average pace of around 6:05/km (9:45/mi.).
My legs felt better than the last two days of running, but my back ached for the first time while running. Luckily after 15-20 minutes my back loosened up and felt better. On the down side my pulled muscle in the left leg started to throb a bit over the last few kilometers and my two running mates noticed (as I did) that my stride kept getting shorter on the left side. I managed to finish without any real suffering and felt fine later on when I got home.
This morning my back was fine, I slept good without any apparent back pain, the first night in weeks that I have slept through. I woke refreshed and full of energy, another first since a long time. I did experience the same numbing feeling in my right leg that I do most mornings (since March), a result of the pinched nerve in my back, but it was not as severe as usual. I guess I will see in the next day or two if this is a quirk or if I am getting better. I’m praying for the latter.
Tomorrow I am running the Baden Mile as part of my company team. The Baden Mile is a 8.88889 km (5.5 mi.) race in Karlsruhe that attracts over 3500 runners each year. Before my injuries I had planned on trying to break my 42:20 best time, but now I am just going to run for fun and try not to aggravate my injuries. When it doesn’t rain maybe I’ll bring my camera and document the event.

Running With Jacks Injuries

I have been seriously slacking off with my blogging this year. I have been thinking about this lately, and particularly why I even have a blog. The main reason I started “Running With Jack” in 2005 was to document the journey to completing my first marathon. Now, over five years later I have quite a few marathons behind me and have completed up to a 100K event.
I started running races in May of 2004, the first race being the 8.88889 kilometer Baden Mile (Badische Meile) in Karlsruhe, Germany. For the most part I have run injury free, at least up to this year. This year seems to be a banner year for running discomforts. First I pinched a nerve in my lower back that still plagues me, then I pulled a muscle in my left leg while sprinting to the finish line during my last marathon.
Somewhere along the way my blog has evolved, for better or worse, but evolved nevertheless. Readers have come and gone, and blogs that I have followed have also come and gone.
I have been wondering where I want to go with my blog, and really didn’t come up with a reasonable answer. But as I struggle to overcome my recent injuries I have been thinking to myself that I should at least document this struggle and my hopeful reentry in the race arena. So be it!
Here is a bit of history of my current health issues:
1. Somewhere around the end of February I noticed that I was waking up with a backache in the lower back almost every morning. Then for a couple mornings in a row I noticed that my leg had a “going to sleep” feeling as I walked to the train station, but generally disappeared the rest of the day. I went to my normal doctor and he said I have a pinched nerve and referred me to a neurologist. My appointment is on May 14th.
2. As I mentioned above, I pulled a muscle in the upper quad of my left leg while sprinting to the finish line of my last marathon on April 18th. This put me out of action for many days and has caused me to reduce my mileage drastically since then. I also missed a 50K race last Saturday and am very sceptical whether I can complete one next week. I am also concerned that it will prevent me from running the 100K race in Biel, Switzerland on June 11th.
Last night I ran with RB and others from my running club. As I headed out over the 11.2 km (7 mi.) loop I was not at all sure if I would complete it. Let me explain this a bit. With the last couple runs that I have done, the muscle that I pulled during the last marathon started to ache after 4-5 miles, sometimes so bad that I elected to end my run sooner than planned to prevent further injury. During the run last night the ache began towards the end, but I was able to finish the run without any major discomfort.
Tonight I am going to try another run with my running friend Uli, this will be a good test on how much stress my legs can take. Uli is experiencing knee problems, so we will be watching out for each other that we don’t over do it.
As a note to myself, during the night last night I woke up several times, my back was aching and I could only sleep in certain positions. My leg again had the numbing feeling this morning as I was walking.
Running is my hobby, I run because I love to, so now that injuries have finally surfaced I am a bit frustrated, but God has blessed me with years of injury-free running and I’m sure I have many more years ahead of me. Runner’s are not necessarily known for their patience while injured, I’m no different. But like a long-distance runner I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and head for the next marker in sight, not think about how far I have to go still or how far I have been.