Monday, January 3, 2011

Training 12-27 to 1-02

Wrap Up: 76 miles for the week on 6 days.  All singles again. Took a 9 day and a 6 day too with one zero, so it wasn't a bad week numbers-wise considering...but it ended up being a horrific way to start the new year.  There is something drastically wrong with my chest/ribs/side/back when I breathe heavy.  I have soreness everywhere.  I have woken up in severe pain the last 4 nights.  It is really bad when I have pressure on my back (so when I'm sitting in a chair with a back or when I'm sleeping).  I started taking medication and it basically f*cked me for Sunday.  I'm pretty pissed to be honest.  While I know it wasn't due to my actual fitness level, it actually really depressed me and made me actually not want to go to any more snowshoe races anymore...don't ask me why...maybe it was because of the intense pain I was in for almost the whole run...I just keep thinking about it and I don't want to have that happen again.  I think I may have been able to salvage something on the roads...but out there on the snow, it's a different story...just not looking forward to snowshoeing right now at all... The Spring can't come soon enough...

01-02 - Sunday: 6 miles (snow) - 3+ mile warmup over the course at North Pond, Savoy, MA.  It took me close to 36 minutes because of the conditions and I was wearing regular shoes to run over the course.  I also did the beginning road part + bare trail (so it was longer than the actual race), but it took a long time, so I figured it was a long course.  It wasn't.  I was just hurting badly.  My breathing was horrible and I was reeling from the medication I was taking, not thinking it would affect my race and running the next day. I was wrong.  I was basically a walking zombie right after the race started... Attempted to race North Pond / South Pond MA State Champs and raced for about 6 minutes before calling it a day and settling for basically doing a regular run the rest of the way as Tivo cruised to the win.  He should have gotten it anyways, because I shouldn't have gone. I don't know my time, but I was at least a minute or more back. Lesson learned.

01-01 - Saturday: 11.2 miles (roads) - nice and easy Harris Inn loop - Salem, Methuen, Pelham. Nice and easy... my back is wrenched from bad sleep the past couple nights and I have another knot on my right side that is really bad.  Breathing / lungs/ chest is also bothering me but the rest of my body feels fine. [1:17:05]

12-31 - Friday: 0 miles.  Spent the early morning at the hospital after struggling to breathe last night when I lay down. I had problems 2 nights ago, but dealt with it and last night couldn't lay down without almost suffocating.  Had sharp pains all on my right side and my chest was constricted.  I thought for sure it was a collapsed lung so I went to the ER.  I have some straining of my chest wall muscles which is making it really painful for me to breathe deep.  The x-rays of my chest indicated it wasn't my lung(s) thank god, but rather the strained chest wall.... I also had an EKG and it showed that I have an enlarged heart.  I have to schedule an echocardiogram this week with my doctor before they can know for sure if I'm at risk.  I was told to avoid exertion.  This sucks, as I am full on training for the Spring and have been throwing in good runs.  It also will put a damper on my racing this weekend.  I may still try it, but I'll have to be careful if I do try something....I need to take today on and see how I feel.  I have heavy pain meds and muscle relaxers to deal with today.

12-30 - Thursday: 17.5 miles (slushy roads and snowy sidewalks). Salem, Methuen, Lawrence, Andover. 9.5 miles from my house in Salem, NH to Dan's work in Andover + 8 miles w/ DD and Verrington on roads in Andover (The infamous Rattlesnake Hill loop). Then DD gave me a lift home. Very messy roads and sidewalks made for a very slow slog at times...[2:04:14]

12-29 - Wednesday: 16 miles (snow covered, slushy roads). Salem, Methuen. From my house up to the courthouse (solo) (4.7m) + from court house up to Zion Hill and back with Judge Jones (6.7m) + back to my house from court house (solo) (4.6m).  Nice and easy...can't really go hard on the roads right now w/ the lack of sidewalks and bare pavement. [1:55:30]

12-28 - Tuesday: 16.3 miles (snow covered, icey roads). Derry Prep 16 Mile course + a bit at the beginning to get to the starting line from where I parked - Derry, NH. 90% of the course was covered in snow. Very slick, hilly, snowy, icey, WINDY run. Great workout, as this course is super hilly and difficult in itself, without snow covering the roads...adding the snow made this a great full body workout with all the slipping backwards with every other step (especially on the uphills). I'm surprised I stayed on my feet. Almost the entire run was done on packed snow and slush. The last few miles were super windy, almost stopping me dead in my tracks on some of the last uphill sections [1:55:11].

12-27 - Monday: 9 miles (snowshoes and a small road bit) - DEEP snowshoe run on the river and out towards Rafton Reservation (Andover, MA) w/ Matt Pimentel.  We broke trail almost the whole time in over a foot of snow in most spots.  One of the tougher snowshoe runs I've ever done.  We were able to wreck some xc ski tracks for a bit, but for the most part, we were blazing virgin DEEP snow.  Great workout. [1:10:00]. Sad story of the day was coming across a mutilated deer carcass right in the middle of the river trail.  There was a massive trail of blood all the way up towards the road and 3/4 of a dead deer that had been killed, completely skinned, and had all of the meat taken off (along with the head).  It was a horrible scene.  Tons of blood on top of the snow and the bloody bones and guts right on the top of the snowdrifts made it apparent that it had happened right before we got there (as the snow was still coming down).


  1. Don't most athletes that train a lot have enlarged hearts?

    Get this figured out and race next weekend!

  2. @Anonymous Chris - I have no idea, but the ER doctor felt it necessary for me to have my doctor give me an echocardiogram asap. That scares me...but the fact that a couple people I've talked to have said it's rather common and most likely benign, leads me to believe everything may be ok (and I just have to focus on why I have trouble breathing when I lay down)...

  3. Jim,

    I see you did a great job at avoiding exertion... only 11 miles.

    There are a couple of concerns when you have chest discomfort, shortness of breath and an enlarged heart. Pericarditis or myocarditis comes to mind, especially if the EKG was where the doc saw the problem. A blood clot, pleurisy, or valve trouble (or something like IHSS) are all things to check for. It's a bit unusual for you to have trouble breathing as a result of just muscle pain though, so you may want to actually rest and allow your body to heal!!

    Great 2010 for you, congrats!