Friday, August 24, 2012

Training 8/26-9/2

I have a good feeling that my prolotherapy to the foot (8/23) will be my last treatment.  The inflammatory response peaked after 12 hours and is just beginning to die down today.  I could probably do a junk run tomorrow but will put it off until Sunday and limit the mileage this week.  Talladega is 3 weeks away and Denver is 4.  It seems unlikely that I'll be in top form for either event.  I'm questionable for 'Dega and in for Denver no matter what.   As for the sugar intolerance, I will keep up the heavily restrictive diet until Denver then try the Fructosin supplement, which supposedly converts fructose to glucose.  I will still drink very little-no soda/energy drinks but I do want to have the occasional beer or fruit smoothie without a relapse.  It remains to be seen what, if any effect the fructosin will have on my body chemistry. As long as I am not locked into a "pills every day or else" scenario and do not have to adjust dosages without notice, I can be happy.  Today is 8/24 and it's 2 days until I can run again.

8/25- I am itching to get back out there today but will hold it off as planned.  Tissues surrounding the injection site appear to be smooth and strong but there is still a bit of tenderness.  I bet I could do a junk run this evening but will wait until morning.  No more than 2 miles, no faster than 7:30 pace.  I ordered some Fructosin today and it's expensive ($45 for just 30 pills) so the plan is to take the standard dosage for just a few days then take it only when I plan to consume any forbidden item.

8/26- Junk run at Vestavia.  Terrible performance.  The first workout back after any rest is always a little rough but nowhere near this bad.  Finished only 1.5 miles in a turtle time of 13:00 (8:40 pace) with pain in my heel and groin.  I had a protein bar (sugar) for breakfast and had to run to the bathroom shortly thereafter.  Fructosin will be taken if need be regardless of the cost.  The only positive to this one is that the bar is set very low and I certainly hope that it can't get any worse than this.  No grade today but it will be my last freebie.  Performances of this caliber will be graded as an "F" ongoing. The heel pain could be tenderness from the injections.  The groin?  No idea.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=1.5

PM- MUCH better.  I covered the same 1.5 mile distance in Vestavia this time in 85 degree weather and my time was down to 10:50 (7:14 pace) with splits of 3:48-3:36-3:26.  Slight discomfort in the heel on the last lap so I backed off a tad at the very end.  The groin was much better.  My only explanation for the vast improvement is that the morning's attempt activated the dopamine, which had been off for the past week.  In order to be healthy and happy, I MUST run or at least do vigorous exercise.  Simple as that. Grading starts tomorrow.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=1.5

8/27- 3 mile progression run in 21:54 (7:18 pace).  Improving all around but I still felt nowhere near my old self.  Splits were 7:40-7:20-6:54 despite not having any top gears.  I still can't believe I got this bad after only 6 days of inactivity.  I should come back quickly but I'm listed as doubtful for Talladega.

PM- 4 miles easy in 29:48 (7:27 pace).  1st half in 15:01, 2nd half in 14:47.  Still feeling a little weird and sore in the groin but much improved in the last 24 hours.
Grade:B-/2 credit/distance=7.5

8/28- Mediocre performance.  Lakeshore 5 in 37:30 (7:30 pace).  Splits were 18:21-19:09 and I was struggling for a 7:50 in the last mile.  I ate clean today too.  I had no power in my body at all.  Fructosin will arrive hopefully next week.  If it forces me back on Thym-Adren, I will actually be okay with that.  This clearly does not feel right.  Yesterday's double should not have taken much out of me.  I will probably rest tomorrow then try to regroup.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/29- Unplanned rest day.  I feel flat out AWFUL!  Apparently, I cannot even drink protein drinks such as Muscle Milk in the morning because they contain crystalline fructose and sucralose.  I thought it was okay because it only had 3 g. sugar.  Wrong!  This diet is virtually impossible to follow.  Fructosin is my last hope.  No grade today but if I can't go tomorrow, I have to take an "F"  Ironically, Red Bull may actually be okay for me because it contains sucrose and glucose, not fructose.  I do not plan to make it a staple of my diet.  Fructose intolerace is associated with magnesium deficiency so I took some of that stuff today.  1st pill did not affect me but the 2nd one did and it was NOT good.

8/30- 3 miles in 23:50 (7:56 pace) plus a mile cool.  Poor performance but I was glad to be able to get out there today.  The Red Bull that I had yesterday probably helped me for reasons explained above but it will not be a regular part of my diet.  Even pace but could not go much faster.  Glad this nightmare of a month is almost over.

PM- 3 miles in 21:55 (7:18 pace), which felt no harder than the this morning's workout.  Improving and this was only my first day clean.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=7.0

8/31- Short tempo before work.  Same 3 miler but my time was down to 20:17 (6:45 pace). Splits were 6:48-6:50-6:38.  I am still a LONG way from PR form.  A full 5K would have been around 21:10 (2 minutes slow) and I still had some soreness in the foot and groin.  No fructosin yet but I am sticking with the heavily restrictive diet until Denver.  Clinched a 2.00 GPA on the year.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=3.0

Update:  I had a reaction to a muffin that I ate for breakfast.  That means that cereal is basically all I can eat for a quick breakfast and I expect to suck tomorrow too.

9/1-  As expected, I sucked.  8 miles with the Gnomes.  Felt decent for the first half then hit the wall and it was downhill.  1st 4 miles were near 8:00 pace.  Last 4 were near 10:00.
Grade:D/2 credits/distance=8.0

9/2- AWFUL.  I fully expected it because I was bad last night at the Clemson/Auburn game.  I figured that since I was already messed up, what difference will it make if it's another day?  1 Mile at Vestavia in 8:21 with a split of 4:15-4:06.  I'll try again this evening but I still failed.

PM- Same Vestavia Mile and my time is down to 6:58.6 with splits of 1:52-1:50-1:43-1:33.
Grade:F+/1 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
I cannot stick with this diet long term.  I can do it for 3 weeks because I have to.
Distance=35.0/ GPA= 14.1/8= 1.76 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 NFL preview /personal update

I expect that it will be an interesting season.  The top 4 QBs chosen in the draft have all been named the starter in Week 1 and at least 2 other young QBs will get their first opportunities to start.
  We can pretty much count on New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh to be playoff teams every year.  Of course, there is the possibility that one of them could fall off dramatically as Indy did last season especially if a key player gets hurt. 
Last year's playoff teams were as follows:
New England, Baltimore, Houston, Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati. 
In the hunt were New York, Tennessee and San Diego.

Most likely to fall off: I'm going to say Cincy just because of their track record even though I like Dalton at QB.  That team has had a few good years but never a consistent winner in more than 20 years.  Also, Denver is a possibility.  Peyton Manning should have a good season but he's no longer among the top 5 in the game and the talent surrounding him on offense is only average.

Division champs:
New England, Baltimore, Houston, San Diego.
Wild cards:
Pittsburgh, Denver

Most likely to sneak in: Tennessee- if Houston falters, who wins the South?  It's unlikely to be Jacksonville or even Indy.  Andrew Luck should make them competitive but it's very rare to see a team go from 2-14 to 10-6 or better.  Don't overlook New York either.  I'll be watching for another potential Tebow mania episode.  However, with New England in their division, a slow start will be difficult to overcome.  

Possible surprise:
Cleveland.  I know it's a long shot especially in a tough division but they made a killing in the draft.  I've seen Trent Richardson play for Alabama and he's a BEAST.  If Weeden is the answer at QB, that's a potent offense.

I'll mark the top tier this season as Green Bay, New York and Detroit but there are fewer safe bets in this conference and more possible surprises.

Last year's playoff teams:
Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Detroit

Most likely to fall off:
New Orleans because of the off-season turmoil but they've got too much talent to be a pushover.  In San Fran, is Alex Smith for real or was it a career season?  That team was mediocre for so long that I used to call them the "7 and 9 ers."  For at least 6 years, they were always between 6-10 and 8-8, which means you're never in contention but miss out on top draft picks.  Ouch!

Division champs:
Green Bay, San Fran, Atlanta, New York
Wild cards:
Detroit, Carolina

Most likely to sneak in:
Seattle- If San Fran reverts to the "7 and 9 ers," this is the team most likely to win the West.  At QB, Matt Flynn had success in a limited role as a backup in GB but had championship caliber talent surrounding him.  You can't count on him duplicating that success but they still have the best chance.  Arizona finished strong last season but neither Kolb not Skelton threatens to be another Kurt Warner.

Expect 8-9 wins from New Orleans, Dallas, Philly and Chicago.  RG3 will make it interesting in DC.

Surprise team:
Carolina- Cam Newton should be much improved in his 2nd year.  If New Orleans does not fall off as I predicted, Atlanta could be the one out.  I expect that we could see a team go 10-6 and not make it.

Super Bowl: Green Bay over Baltimore.

Personal update:
As promised, no running posts this week.  Today is my 3rd sugar free day and I am just now beginning to feel some improvement. I could probably do 5@ upper 7s today but no faster.  Fructose malabsorption is related to adrenal fatigue and at least indirectly related to plantar fasciitis.  Sugar is indeed somewhat addictive and it is difficult to break free from it but my best hope is to avoid it completely and stay off any pills then after a month, allow it only as a treat no more than once per week.  Fears of a full scale relapse are back.  If it progresses to the point that I can't tolerate it even once a week, I will try probiotics or other supplements, which should not result in being locked into to taking them every day or else.  I've got prolotherapy on Thursday morning and I will start back with a junk run Sunday.  Next week will be around 25-30 miles with low quality.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fructose malabsorption and prognosis

Update:  I have found out about a supplement called Fructosin, which supposedly converts fructose to glucose.  That is most definitely an option.  If this progresses to complete intolerance for sugar, it is a diet that is virtually impossible to follow.  More to come on this in future training log posts.
EDIT:  I officially endorse Fructosin!

Almost a year ago, I made the decision to quit drinking soda, energy drinks and strictly limit my alcohol consumption.  I've cheated a few times but the end result was that I stabilized and eventually was able to wean myself off the rest of my pills or should I say, forced off the pills?  I can't take anything now without a swift negative reaction.   I first tried some healthier alternatives such as green tea and FRS energy.  Both of which eventually triggered negative reactions after some initial success.

  More recently, I got hooked on Naked juice smoothies, a supposedly healthy blend of fruits and vegetables.  It has about 55 grams of sugar per bottle, but it's all contained within the fruits with "no added sugar."  I cannot even tolerate that stuff either.  Next, I drank more Powerade Zero and Propel zero, which do not contain any sugars but rather artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame.  BAD stuff!

Finally, I tried some Chia fruit bars to help balance my blood sugar.  Once again, after some initial success, I suffered a sharp downturn within 2 weeks of beginning regular consumption.  Again, these fruit chia bars have no added sugar, all naturally contained in the fruit.  I really should have known that it would be bad for me but I thought it might be different because I was eating it instead of drinking it.  Right now, I highly doubt that my blood sugar is balanced but I'm not even sure that it's the main problem.  I fit the symptoms of fructose malabsorption the T.   The problem lies with my intestines, which cannot properly absorb or digest the sugar.

Did it play a role in plantar fasciitis issue?  Probably.  I overstressed parts of my body that had been damaged only because of this disorder.  If I consume too much sugar in any form, I will suffer sore muscles, inflammation, fatigue, malaise and depression.  It's not unlike adrenal fatigue.  The best way that I can describe it in a way that my readers can understand is that it basically feels like the flu (minus the fever and chills) and it takes about 5-7 days to recover only by strictly avoiding it.  Is sugar addictive?  Yes, I believe that it is.  Otherwise, I would not have been constantly looking for substitutes and never would have consumed items that I knew or should have known were bad for me.  That said, I'm sure that it is easier to quit than cigarettes or illegal drugs so it could be worse.

  The best thing that I can do is to go cold turkey for at least 4 weeks. I know I've said that before but I cheated with the artificial sweeteners.   I will not even eat any fruit during that time, which can't be good for me long-term. Can I take probiotics?  Maybe but there is a risk that some of them contain what is known as prebiotics, which are building blocks of fructose.  I've read that there are supplements out there that may help but I'd prefer not to go down that road.  After all I've been through, do I really want to be locked into to taking a pill every day yet again? Will I be able to tolerate it?  Will it mess with my fragile equilibrium? I will take that action only if it progresses to the point in which a one time slip up would cause a 5-7 day problem.  Right now, I probably still have an allowance of about 25-30 grams of sugar (1 protein bar) per day.  If I break it once and by a small amount, no problem.  Any more than once a week and I'll be in trouble.

  There is still hope for a productive Fall season but the September 5K shots at my PR are probably out the window.  I've been able to maintain decent fitness lately and a week off now followed by a slack week won't kill me.  I might lose about a minute from my 10K time but should bounce back quickly.  I'll know after about 3 days following the 2nd round of prolo whether or not I can handle hard stuff again or I'll need a 3rd treatment.  I'm running Denver no matter what even if it turns out that I have to jog it.  After that, it is a question mark.  I've been through worse than this before but to have this happen just after I get freedom from the pills is very demoralizing.

NO running next week, no blogging about it, no reading about it and no talking about it.  I have one such week built into my plan per year in addition to the week off after Mercedes that I took so it won't affect my yearly GPA.  That's based on an average of 50 weeks, in which I need to average 40 miles to reach 2,000.  It'll be close.   Another week off, for any reason, is an automatic ZERO.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Training 8/13-8/19

8/13- Good start to the week.  Lakeshore 6.5 in 47:57 (7:23 pace).  Started off at marathon pace and saw a 7:10 in Mile 2 then gradually backed off from there.  Humid conditions but not too warm and steamy.  Quite pleased with this one coming off the hard weekend.  I plan to go hard tomorrow and might pay for this one.  It will either be a tempo or interval session but not a sprint workout.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=7.0

8/14-  Not a very good day.  Workout was about average on the surface.  5 mile tempo in 33:40 (6:44 pace) with a pretty nasty fade (16:30/17:10). Tempo runs should be a least a minute faster per mile than easy workouts.   A bigger concern is that the heel pain was troublesome.  Perhaps, I overstressed a still weak ligament too soon.  If that's the case, I could be in trouble.  I may need another treatment and perhaps a whole week off.  Hopefully, no more than that.  I also cheated on my diet today.  Again, once a week won't kill me but any more and I know I'll be hurting.  I get an average grade today based on my pace but this is not good.  Let's see if an easy day tomorrow and a rest on Thursday leaves me ready to roll again.
Grade:B-/2 credits/distance=5.5

8/15- BAFA day (anniversary of 1st cross-country practice) was not worth celebrating this year.  Mediocre performance at the Trak Shak.  I slogged through 5 miles in 38:38 (7:43 pace) with another fade at the end.  Splits were 18:55/19:43 and I had to work to maintain sub-8 at the end.  The only good news is that the foot held up.  I think the problem is clearly too much too soon on a weak ligament that was NOT bulletproof immediately after prolo.  My gut says to survive the rest of the week with slow runs, schedule an appointment early next week and take the whole week off.  Then set a ceiling of only 30 miles the following week. It sucks for now but these are the dog days. I don't think I've ever run well in the month of August.   Better now than in Sept/Oct.
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

8/16- Planned rest day.  Not feeling well at all because I took 1/2 a pill last night.  The negative reaction confirms that I no longer need that stuff.  I deleted the Relapse post because it was only a 1 day issue and no longer relevant.  I remain off the pills and it's been 50 days.  I've never lasted even half this long before. The foot does seem to be improving a bit but one treatment will not be enough.  I can do easy runs and marathon paced runs on it right now and that's it.  No speed or tempo permitted.  I will call the doctor this afternoon and see if he has an appointment for early next week.

Update: I did get an appointment next Thursday morning (8/23) and indeed I will take the whole week off next week with nothing big the following week.

8/17- Another poor performance.  I'm ready for the week off.  3 miles indoors in 23:43 (7:51 pace) with a last mile in 8:17.  I took a short rest then clocked a 7:38 mile while trying to avoid forefoot contact then ran another half mile barefoot.  Mile 4 was enough to keep me from an "F"
Grade:D/1 credit/distance= 4.5
Update:  It has become clear that chia fruit bars are BAD for me.  Too much sugar.

8/18- FRUCTOSE MALABSORPTION DISORDER.  That's my self-diagnosis.  Even a supposedly healthy super food that was supposed to help blood sugar regulation cannot be tolerated because it has too much sugar.  My limit per day is somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 g.  The only thing that may help is certain types of probiotics (without prebiotics) but I have to be super strict for the next 4 weeks and cannot expect much improvement for about 5 days.  Perfect time for a week break.
Workout today was a 2.5 mile junk run and my pace was so bad that I'm embarrassed to reveal it.

PM- Naked 3 miler on Wisteria.  I'm sure that my pace was no better but this one was less of a struggle mentally without the watch.  This was nothing more than a junk run to pad my mileage.  I don't expect tomorrow to be much better either.  If I hit December 31st at 1990 miles instead of 1985, I'll sure be glad that I got out there today.
Grade:D/2 credit/distance=5.5

8/19- Very little improvement over yesterday, which was not a surprise.  2 miles indoors in 16:42.  Yesterday, my pace went up to near 9.  Today, I kept it under 8:30.  Unless I double this afternoon, I'm taking an "F" on the day.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=2.0

Weekly summary:
No comments needed.
Distance=30.0/ GPA= 14.7/8= 1.84

Monday, August 6, 2012

Training 8/6-8/12

8/6- We're really in the dog days now.  No racing for at least a month so if I was to slump this summer, now is when I would choose it.  There is good news and bad news in this workout.  The good is that I am continuing to improve.  6 mile tempo in 41:18 (6:53 pace), 20 seconds per mile better than yesterday with comparable effort.  I'm still probably 2 days from being fully clear of the poison.  The bad is that I'm still about 30 ticks per mile from goal pace and it is becoming increasingly clear that the PF will not be going away on its own.  I will be calling Dr. Johnson tomorrow to see if there are any appointments this week.  Interestingly, I did a half mile cool barefoot and it felt okay.
Grade:B/2 credit/distance=6.5

8/7- 4th day since hitting the nadir and I continue to improve.  Ran 6 miles indoors (sunny and rainy outside) in a time of 42:18 (7:03 pace) then turned it on for an 83 last quarter to finish below 7 pace overall.  That's only 10 seconds slower than yesterday on MUCH less effort.  I think I could have broken 1:32 in a half mary and I expect to be better tomorrow as well but will level off after that.  Ran 3/4 mile barefoot as a cool down.  Good job today.  That pace is in the "dead zone" on not quite tempo but too fast for GMP but since my mileage is low without much quality recently, it's okay.  Dr. Johnson is available tomorrow at 12:30 PM.  I'll run in the morning and should only miss one day of training.  Feeling better emotionally.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=7.0

8/8- AM group run on Lakeshore.  Slow start, fast middle, slow finish.  Overall time was 38:13 for 5 miles (7:38 pace) plus a half mile cool.  Did not feel too good but I'm not concerned or disappointed.  I've gone hard this week so far and it's caught up to me.  PF hurt at the beginning, was okay during the run then hurt again afterwards.  Heading up to Nashville this afternoon.  I blame it on unbalanced blood sugar, too much toe running and possibly improper shoes.  Let's hope I've gotten it treated before it becomes a major injury.
Grade:B-/1 credit/distance=5.5

PM- Prolo in Nashville.  Much less humid up there at least today but the trade off is that it's about 5 degrees colder in the winter.  I'm optimistic that Dr. J got all the trigger points.  Again, it's not an injury unless it required me to take time off so I still have a chance at 5 out of 6 years.  I'm sore as I should be and it's been a long day.  I've been up since 5 AM and just got back home at 7 PM.

8/9- Well deserved and planned rest.  If I can run tomorrow, I will have lost zero training days.  A couple of sub-par weeks won't wreck my fitness.  I hope to come back full throttle next week.

Update: I am walking a bit gingerly today but nothing too severe.  I still hope to be able to do a gentle run tomorrow.  I still hope that 1 prolo session will do but if I need another, so be it.

8/10- Junk run was all that I could do which was not a surprise.  Finished 3 miles in 23:51 (7:57 pace) with an 8:10 3rd mile then ran barefoot for another half mile.   I set the floor grade at 75 and that's what I get today.  No cause for alarm.  I should do better tomorrow.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.5

8/11- Good day for me.  17 miles progression style in 2:38:44 (7:34 pace- 3:17 marathon).  That's my longest run in 6 months.  Final 6 miles were as follows:  7:15-7:10-7:13-7:16-7:18-6:34.  That's an overall time of 42:46 (7:07 pace).  Encouraging performance given that I haven't really trained for distance in several months.  I do have 2 gripes to report.  Groin and quads soreness was a bit problematic AND I was in no man's land (not good enough to run with sub-3 guys) (too fast for 2nd group).  I really need a training partner who runs a steady 7:30 pace.  I got to meet Lisa today (aka Yo Momma Runs) who was finishing up a 20 miler.
Grade:A-/2 credits/distance=17.0

8/12- Another benefit to keeping the mileage moderate is that I can recover quickly when I do run long.  Today went well.  Lakeshore 5 plus a cool in a time of 37:10 (7:26 pace).  Slow start but once I got past 1/2 mile, I loosened up nicely and was really moving by Mile 3.  I backed off a tad towards the end but that was by design.  Passed 1,250 miles on the year.

PM- Junk run.  Very easy 3 at Red Mountain Park.  The trails get more hilly as you get deeper into the park.  I went naked over the last half but estimate my pace was 8:10-8:20 but I didn't care.  It was a beautiful day outside (85 and sunny w/ low humidity) and I did not want to waste it.
Grade:A-/1 credit/distance=8.5

Weekly summary:
The big victory is that it appears that I have been spared almost certain injury thanks to prolotherapy.  I do not think the Chia is helping me at all.  Any benefit that I am getting is probably wiped out by the 22 grams of sugar per bar.  I'll probably finish what I've ordered then stop it completely.  Planning a slight cut back and a time trial next week.  The heat and humidity is beginning to die down so now is the time to go full throttle.
Distance=48.0/ GPA= 25.5/8=3.19

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Injuries and prevention

Last Christmas, my sister got me the book Born To Run, which profiles some ultra runners including the indigenous tribe, the Tarahumara.  I'm not fan of ultra running but still enjoyed the book.  One of the quotes was "You don't stop running when you get old.  You get old when you stop running."  I liked that one so much that I posted it on my Facebook.  There are a lot of interesting claims in the book.  Although I do not buy the whole package, it is intriguing nonetheless.  Here are a few of the claims:
-the human body is indeed designed to run well over 20 miles
-protective shoes do more harm than good
-barefoot running is the way to go

Let's considering the Tarahumara culture.  Running is not just recreation.  It is a way of life.  They run in little more than slippers over rocky and mountainous terrain.  There is no heart disease, obesity or diabetes in the entire tribe and cancer is very minimal. 50+ year olds routinely keep up with 18 year-olds. Despite logging ridiculous mileage, there are very few overuse injuries.  That's enough to at least consider the possibility that there may be something to all of this.

The book claims that up to 80% of runners suffer some type of injury every year and weekend warriors are just as vulnerable as elite marathoners.  This leads many people to believe that running is bad for you.  Despite modern treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs, custom made orthotics, cortisone shots, stability and motion control shoes, the rate of injury has not changed in recent decades.  If anything, it's actually ticked up a tad.

Here's my take on it:
The 80% figure seems awfully high to me.  I define an injury as a condition that forces you to stop  running for at least 10 days, not just some aches and pains that force you to reduce mileage for a week or 2.  I started my comeback almost 6 years ago and have had only 2 major injuries (both in 2010).  Both of them were caused at least in part to forces beyond over-reaching with training. 

Can anybody run a 50 Mile ultra?  NO way!  How about a sub-4 marathon?  NO!  There's are little things called genetics and inherent natural talent that determine both your maximum speed and capacity for workouts.  That said, I do believe that if you truly make an honest effort to become a runner, you will likely be very pleased with your results. I define an honest effort as slowly building to 15-20 MPW on 3-4 days of running.  My average volume is about 40 MPW and I max out near 55.  My paces are faster than most runners of my caliber but that's because my goals are different.  I'd rather run a fast 10K than a good marathon.  Some may put in plenty of effort but top out at only 30 MPW while others can do 80+.  Either way, if you're putting forth a good effort, be proud of it.

As for injuries, I don't think you can ever make yourself bulletproof  even if you do everything right but many injuries can be prevented.  Here's how:

1. Balance your body chemistry- if your basic minerals are out of balance, connective tissues do not heal properly, which leads to reduced capacity for work and vulnerability to tendon injuries and muscle pulls.  I am off the pills now but still strongly endorse the hair test protocol. 

2. Improve your diet- Above all, sharply reduce your sugar consumption.  I've learned that plantar fasciitis may be caused by unbalanced blood sugar. I'm sure that many others can be traced to poor diet as well.  For reasons I cannot explain, I am hyper-sensitive to the Cal/Mag pills that I took for over 5 years and now cannot tolerate them. My blood sugar is not in balance but I only adjusted my diet 5-6 weeks ago.  It could just take time to get better and perhaps the PF will fade in time.  Without pills, I must make up any deficiencies with my diet.  That's where the chia comes in.  It's packed with omega 3s, protein, fiber and yes, it's said to be excellent for blood sugar control.  Lastly, it's a big part of the Tarahumara diet.

3. Choose proper shoes- I believe that barefoot/minimalist training is not for everyone but I know plenty of people that swear by it as the cure for chronic injuries.  My taste in shoes has evolved more toward lighter and flexible options.  I will likely settle at a rotation that includes both minimalist shoes and neutral options with cushioning or OTC orthotics.  If you do want to go down the minimalist route, do so gradually.  Switching from heavy motion control trainers to a super lightweight racer usually spells trouble

4. Perhaps alter your gait- I say perhaps because I don't recommend tinkering with a runner's natural style if it's working well.  That said, forefoot and midfoot strikers are less injury prone than heel strikers.  Shoes such as Newtons can help you transition gradually.  However, if taken to the extreme in toe running, too much pressure is put on the calves, Achilles and plantar fascia.

5. Treat injuries properly- I believe that NSAIDs and cortisone shots are overused.  The problem is often not inflammation but damaged connective tissues.  I do believe that if taken care of properly, the body is capable of healing itself.  I endorse prolotherapy because its purpose is to stimulate natural healing.