Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Holden MacGroyne

I was never a big fan of "Friends", but I remember an episode where the dimwitted Joey was looking for a new stage name. Chandler, ever the ever-clever prankster, suggested one, which Joey spoke out loud for the first time at an audition. "Holden MacGroyne", Joey called out, as the realization that he'd been had washed over him. Well, I've known "Holden MacGroyne" and I am sad to say I know him again. Actually, I AM Holden MacGroyne.

Last Wednesday, after a nice stretch of decent mileage in the face of lousy weather, I relented to some pressure from friends and - against my better judgment - played in a casual (though pretty skilled) game of pick-up indoor soccer. I ran hard for a good 75 minutes, played as well (or as poorly) as I used to and enjoyed myself. Then, I felt a little twinge in my right inner thigh/groin area. I stopped, stretched and went back on the pitch for a few more minutes, until I made a very easy right-footed pass which hurt like heck. I was done for the night, and may be done playing soccer forever.

Since that fateful moment last week, I've channeled my energy in two ways. First, I am trying desperately to keep myself from descending into a deep, dark morass of running-related depression. I'd al;ready scrapped my February marathon plans. I may still be able to run a flat half-marathon on February 15th. It's the best time of year to be forced off the roads and onto the elliptical, stationary bike, pool, treadmill and indoor track. And, best of all, my beloved physical therapist says it's just a strain, not a tear, and that recovery should be relatively quick (a couple to a "few" weeks, maybe). Of course, there will be some lingering effects. My plan to incorporate more hill work into my training will have to wait. Tempo pace or faster running will also go on the backburner for now, as I'll focus on being able to run smoothly and comfortably. I even half-jokingly observed that maybe the injury to my RIGHT groin will balance out the asymmetries which resulted from the left groin tear I sustained in 2005. Still, it's tough to come to terms with having a "weak" groin. Not something most guys want to admit themselves.

My second sanity-saving technique has been to spend lots of time on the elliptical, stationary bike, stretching and doing extra core work, which I'd been neglecting in the name of limited time as I tried to get and keep my mileage up before starting another marathon training cycle. Podcasts have kept me company, and I may even read when I next get on the bike. It's certainly frustrating not to run (last weekend was a lovely mild but snowy one), but with sub-zero temps on tap for the next few days, having no choice but to stay inside is okay with me.

So, I may be posting less for a bit, but I hope to be back on the roads by the time I travel to Florida for the obligatory annual parental visit at the end of the month.

The other recent "training-related" development is that I finally decided to track what I eat. I downloaded an app called "Lose It!" for my iPhone (before I was hurt), and it's been very useful. I have not changed what I eat much, but am paying more attention to portion size, avoiding regular second helpings and being more conscious about previously mindless snacking, especially at night. Tracking my input and total output each day has led to my already dropping about 3-4 pounds, reaching my everyday goal of 157-158 and putting me in a good position to get to my training peak/race-day goal of about 154-55. Given that I have had to curtail my intake since I can't run, I look forward to when adding 50+ weekly miles will let me consume another 5000-6000 calories. That means, for example, that I can go back to my guilty pleasure of eating one full sleeve of graham crackers - usually with a glass of skim milk - on the nights before I plan to run the next morning . . . among other things.

Stay warm, healthy and motivated everyone.


1 comment:

Billy said...

Ugh...sorry to hear about your 'weak groin'. Must be frustrating at the very least but it sounds like you're channeling that energy creatively.

Good luck on your road to recovery.