Posts Tagged ‘stress fracture’

I have had a lot of people ask me if I am sad when I sell a drawing. I always find this a ridiculous question and want to ask them if they ever tell their boss not to pay them because they enjoy their job. Fortunately I love my job and I get paid for it. If I never sold work  I could never pay the rent on the studio or buy supplies. Plus I would end up like the Collyer Brothers with thousands of papers stacked floor to ceiling. I want my work out in the world, in homes, in museums, etc.

I have to admit though I will miss this drawing a bit. I sold it last night to my teammate and friend Blossom, hence the title, “Boston for Blossom.”

I gave you previews of this drawing some months back. “Boston for Blossom”  traces, literally, my rehab runs after breaking my foot in 2009, (my first major running injury) up to the 2010 Boston Marathon. It is a 7 month journey beginning with  alternating 400 meters walk/ run on a soccer field, to 22 mile runs along Manhattan’s west side many months later.

The process is very simple, but  time consuming. After my run, which I wear my garmin 305. I download my data to my Gramin Training Center, from there I upload the data to garmin connect. I output the mileage from garmin connect to google earth. I hook my computer up to a video projector and project the maps onto the large 60″ x 44″ paper on my wall, 10 feet away. I  draw over the map lines with either black, red, pink watercolor or pencil. Track work is almost always red, tempo runs usually pink and long runs black. Pencil, put in there for extra texture are recovery runs. Yes there are a couple of black loops on the track and this does not include every mile I ran for those seven months. But it does include the most important ones.

Blossom came and got the drawing last night and it is on it ways to Dot at Rabbet Framing in NJ. They are my favorite framer in the metropolitan area having framed over 30 pieces for me in the last couple of years, including one over 120″ long.

I now have room on my big wall to start a new long-term drawing. This one will be methodically color coded and include ever single mile I run from October 1 on. I am not sure of the end date but I have an exhibition in March that it could show up in.  I will also do a few “one-off’s” that is drawing that are of a single time run or race.

When you get sick of those terrible Brightroom photos and want to commemorate your race or your training in a high art kind of way, impress your friends with your athleticism and culture, call me, perhaps we can make a deal and you can have your very own GPS drawing.

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Booked flight to New Mexico.
Booked boarding with my favorite dog wrangler and trainer Kat Berger.
Booked my labral tear repair surgery

Today I saw my orthopedist, Dr. Donald Rose. I knew already what was coming. I had my followup MRI done last week on my left hip which has a stress-reaction injury on my femur. My first MRI was in May and  I am surprised that I was not 100% by now. I have run a little bit, starting with 100 meter jogs and spending 5 weeks to build up to a mile. Talk about a slow build-up. But I was bugged by a nagging ache along the inside of my hip-bone that intensified whenever I squatted down.  I kept digging at it thinking it was my psoas but it never changes.

On August 27th I went for my follow-up MRI. When I got the report  I went into a rage and depression. The second report included “unchanged ganglion cyst and  tear at the base of the anterior labrum.” What do you mean “unchanged” there was never a cyst nor a tear reported! Dr. Farzam Kashanian at Lenox Hill Radiology read my May MRI.  He wrote about three vague sentences and my injury did not sound too bad. But when my doc looked over those films he said it was much more severe than Kashanian stated. The report was less than 2/3’s of a page. My second MRI read by another doc in the practice (I have look  his name up Greogry ??)  is two pages long and not only details the tear, he specifies which film sequence it is in. He compared the two films stated what is unchanged or changed. Oh man I am pissed. I would have had this taken care of back in May. But rather I sat here all summer healing my bones while the tear is what is holding me up. So now I am going to NYC Hospital for Joint Disease Sept 14th to have that fixed and then going back to the 100 meter build up.

Hopefully it will be better than that. I had a friend get both hips done. The first one she was on crutches one week, the second one she walked home with a cane and was off it the second day. The good thing is you have to work the leg immediately, no sitting around. I asked if I should board my wild dogs and  the doc said, “no, it will be good for you to hobble around with them and if they are too strong, get a friend to walk them and you hobble along side.” In other words I hear 30 minute surgery, go home, sleep an hour, get up and get the leg moving.

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I am sitting at a picnic table overlooking a beautiful lake with miles of rail trails just beyond that. I rented a little house that was once a gazebo, I suppose you could still call it a gazebo but it has indoor plumbing and a kitchen.  The dogs have been running non-stop and swimming in the lake. The owners of the property have had it in their family since the 1930’s and there used to be a hotel and several cottages. All but three of the cottages have been removed and the hotel was made into a home. It is 90 miles from NYC in Mapleridge near Monticello. If I could stay up here all summer and run the rail trails it would change my whole running life.

It makes me especially happy to be in the country. I can lick my wounds here. The race I have been so looking forward too, Transrockies, is out. I will not be healthy enough to run 120 Rocky Mountain trail miles. I am so sick of getting hurt, this last year  really sucked. More strength training, better nutrition and less miles is the only answer I can come up with. I consoled myself today watching the Resurrected Runner. Any runner knows exactly what he is going to say. My favorite part is about his family. I won’t spoil it, take a look.

That is it for now. The dogs and I are going swimming!

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Rain, sleet, ice, mud, 25 degrees. A perfect day to enjoy a 15k cross-country race. My scheduled run  was 9 miles so I took advance of the NYRR race in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It was excellent brain and body training as I was not going to race after racing yesterday, nor am I in shape to run a 15k X-C well. Mainly I do not want to chance injuring myself but I love running in the woods.

We waited in the usual mass start group, the rain pounding down harder than ever. Instead of lining up in the front and shooting off like a cannon,  I lined up in the very back and trotted my way through the first mile or so staying in the back of the pack and not worrying about getting boxed in. I just went with the flow and it was very relaxing.   It was raining harder ever minute and it was cold but it felt great to have no agenda but to enjoy my miles. Normally I run my 5k X-C at a 7:00 ish pace, my last race ranged from 6:40 – 7:15, but today I wanted to stay around 9:00, my long run pace. I forgot my Garmin so I kicked my feet along and checked the clock after each lap of the park, promising myself to slow own if I was running faster than planned. I ran all three laps  consistently while trying out my new red  Saucony Kilkenny X-C flats. Man, I love those things.   I could scamper of the steep rain-soaked hills like it was nothing.  I love running x-c so much that I had a little wish to run a 4th lap.

In the final stretch, coming out of the woods it is all flat dirt  for about 300 meters. My legs were a bit tight from the hills so I decided it was a safe place to unwind. Most people were pretty tired by then, so as I quickened my pace I passed 6 people who I had strategically stayed behind to keep my pace in check. But I really needed to unwind and it was a good feeling to leg it all go in the last 200-300 meters. I am not sure of my time since I did not have a watch, and I did not start right out when the gun went off, but I would say I was around 8:50 pace which was my target range.

Now the time it took to get home on the subway in dripping wet freezing clothes and thaw my body out in the hot tub was a whole other story, that took a long time, about a 40k.

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My first race back after a 6 month break.

My first race back since May. The Holiday 4-miler in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. My plan was to be conservative on the first mile to warm up my legs and not burn myself out. The first mile was all uphill followed by a nice downhill. My body felt good, nice and easy running,  checking out the people around me. I focused on mile two to three to use the down hills to my advantage. Mile 3 is always hard to keep focus and keep pushing the pace.  I felt very heavy. I felt a couple of people attach me to and rather than let them suck some of my energy I focused on grabbing theirs and soon lost them. Mile 3 – 4 was all concentration to keep the pace. I got a small cramp under my right rib cage in the last 1/2 mile. I felt a few dry heaves wanting to come out in the last 500-600 meters but calmed them down. I focused hard to keep the pace going to the end but felt like I was really pushing without much reward. Mile 4 is all uphill with the last 400 meters being the toughest. I had no kick that I was aware of. So what is the verdict of my current fitness levels? I will let Coach Roy handle that but here are my stats with the run distance  since I never run the tangents and have extra mileage:

mile 1 – 7:31, mile 2 – 7:18, mile 3 – 7:14, mile 4-7:32 and the last 140 yards – 7:08. for an average of 7:23 pace, 4:08 miles – 30:10 total, my current weight is 120, 17.5% body fat. That is 3 pounds heavier and 2 minutes slower than my April 4 miler, but only 10 seconds slower than my February ’09 4 miler. And guess what?! It is 16 seconds faster than my 2008 Holiday 4-miler.To top it off it was 26º!

I am okay!

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A hand printed custom log book I made.

It is 28º in Manhattan and I just finished pinning my number to my shirt, restringing my shoe laces into my racing shoes, and laying out my outfit for tomorrow morning’s New York Road Runners Holiday 4 mile. The race is taking place in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, it will be my first race since May 16, 2009. My first race back after breaking my foot and I am looking forward to it. The first race since working with Coach Roy Benson. Tomorrow is simply about gathering information about my fitness level, or so I can tell myself. On Sunday it will be 8 full weeks since working with Roy, beginning with 15 minutes runs and a 110 minute week with a slow and careful build up to this week’s 33 miles. It may still be low mileage for most of you, but let me say, I am healthy, pain-free, and enjoying every minute of every run. And I can just keep building.
Today while riding the subway it  dawned on me how lucky I really am to have a terrific number of supportive people around me. I have teammates that I run with anywhere from 18 to 72 years old. On any given day I could beat either in a race or they could beat me. But together we are sharing what we really love to do, run-and beat the other teams- and to share that with such a huge age range of friends really is a gift.
Before getting too sentimental and speaking of gifts. I made a  slew of hand printed journals this week. Using natural tone moleskin 64 page journals and printmaking processes I made over 100 journals with images of my original drawings and photographs and I made running journals. I sold out almost everything but you can still place an order. If you are interested send me at email at hilary@hilarylorenz.com. They are $5, $10 or $15 depending on the size. Check out these images:

My labrador and one of my drawing on these small journals

Large lined journals

My sales table with book press

Each journal is unique and hand printed by Hilary Lorenz.

My table of journals

A range of hand printed journals.

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My last post ended with my run on the Alter-G and a new stress fracture. Today, three months later, 2 days shy of 12 weeks I am running.  Most days my foot does not hurt, except when I am walking my very unruly dogs who jerk me all over.  All this time off since May 26, the first break, has given me a lot of time to think, to lay on my sofa and be depressed and  be pissed off and think of what I want to change in my life.  Now it is fall and all those races which I thought I would run were cancelled, but I smartly registered for Boston the day I canceled my NYC marathon.

I knew I could write my own training plan, but I wanted to be sure. I was ready to work with John Henwood when I read an article by Coach Roy Benson in Running Times. Something in it make me  call Roy and discuss my breaks and my approach back to racing. I was so taken by Roy that I wanted to work with him, to collaborate, his words, on my training plan. I have never felt such confidence in any coach or any training as I do now with Roy. I started the plan October 19th after clearance from my doc. It began with running a total of 110 minutes over four  days for the week. The plan incorporated my swimming and rowing workouts. I was thrilled to begin again and I just had to trust the plan and that I would come back. My first 25 minute jog  at a 9:00 pace felt like I was pushing a bolder up a mountain. I was not sweating, or heart pounding, it was just that my body did not want to move. In these last five weeks I have seen some  9:45’s  and even 10:00’s when I ran two days in a row. But my longest run was on Sunday, a full 60 minutes. The breakdown was 8:30, 8:40, 8:29, 8:31, 8:00, 7:19, 9:30, 7:53. That 8:00 – 7:19 I met a runner along the way and ran with him, though he left me at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge with a huge hill to climb and tired legs, that is where the 9:30 came in. It was rough, but I was so happy.

From now until the end of January I will be base building, no speed work, no repeats, a few steady state and a lot of general aerobic. I have it in my mind that I just want to have fun in Boston not worry about my time goals. I will leave my time goals behind, expect that I want a PR of course. Some really exciting news is that I will be doing a few long runs in Iceland. In January, I am flying to Reykavik to meet my Dutch artist friend Miek for some big hiking and a day at the Blue Lagoon.  then we are off to the Netherlands and our annual big sea walk, a 7 hour walk along the North Sea. It is Miek’s 65 birthday and I have not seen her in two years. She is a physical power house and I am really looking forward to our big walks. One year we were both guests of the Miskolc Museum of Contemporary Art in Hungary. Every morning we got up at 7:00 am, robustly walked 8k to the hot springs, bathed for 2-3 hours, then walked or jogged back to the studios to work. It was one of the most fantastic summers ever.

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Hilary Lorenz on the Alter-G

Hilary Lorenz on the Alter-G

I just had the best workout of my life. Many of us fantasize about having more training time, having the cool gadgets that the pros have and planning how we be  faster, stronger and more competitive.  Yesterday in  NYC one of  my dreams  came true; the ability to train on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, just like Paula Radcliffe, who owns two of the $75,000 machines, Dathan Ritzenhein and  Kara Goucher.

Prior to finding Barry Heyden, Former Director of Fitness and Conditioning for the New York Mets and founder of Full Spectrum New York, I thought the Alter-G treadmills were only for the pros and if there were any available it would be wildly expensive. I did find one other machine at New York Hospital for Special Surgery’s Performance lab.It turns out the Barry spearheaded the development of  the hospitals Performance Center and the training for the Alter-G. Any individual can work out at the hospital but it is expensive, $350 for the initial consultation and $100 an hour. I do not see myself running on theirs any time soon. However Barry is making his very accessible to a wide range of people where you can buy a 10 hour package for only $450. At $45 an hour that is the same a a cheap Chinatown massage and less than one hour with the dog walker. Save all that mental health therapy money you have been spending because your injured  and invest it in training on this thing. You can run even with a stress fracture or in Radcliffe’s case after bunion surgery.

Blossom on the Alter-G trainer

Blossom on the Alter-G trainer

My reason  for training on this is to get my fitness back faster after breaking my foot 12 weeks ago.  I had been pool running but felt myself getting slower and slower. My return to land running is  difficult and I hate running on a treadmill. But the G-trainer is built around a Woodway Treadmill which makes  gym treadmills feel like caveman tools. It feels fantastic both forward and backward.

I also want to do overspeed training. The G-trainer is the perfect tool for overspeed training. As the individual decreases their weight they’re able to increase their speed beyond what they could normally do at full weight. They are able to run at a faster turnover rate increasing their body’s familiarity with higher speeds. The muscle memory from these increased speed sessions increases the overall speed potential of the individual when at full body weight. The G-Trainer’s broad variable range for weight, speed, and incline allows people to customize their workout session to their specific needs. After warming up I was able to run a 5:20 mile pace, something I have never done on land. It felt like I was running really fast on the track. I was light on my feet yet felt the full extension of my legs and the balls of my feet hitting the ground and pawing back. I had such a nice back kick that I could feel my foot coming to my butt. It was fast but always in total control.

I can’t say enough good things about this treadmill and Barry who is a super nice guy and truly a brilliant and gifted trainer. He gave me a few  $50 vouchers that I can give out to friends so if you are in NYC and want to try this for free let me know. My plan is to train at Barry’s  2-3 days a week though the end of year to increase endurance, then use it for stamina training  in preparation for the Boston Marathon in April.

If you make an appointment with Barry directly tell him Hilary sent you and if you want a free voucher let me know I will be in Central Park this Saturday morning.

Happy running.

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I hoped that at week 1o of my stress fracture healing  I would be able to run the New York Road Runners Team Championships. I knew it would not be a great race but an okay race. I began my rehab running back on July 14 and it is now August 8th. One week ago I did my first continuous 30 minutes of running and on Monday I ran 4 x 1 mile. But no way am I ready.

I began cross training the morning after breaking my third metatarsal all the way through. I deep water ran 5 days a week, rode my bike everywhere  and began swimming lessons. I  swim with a masters team 3x a week and do strength training. I work out about 2+ hours a day in an attempt to keep fit and to make it easier when I started running again. My runs began over three weeks ago with a 5 minute walk and a 1 minute run x 5. progressing until I was running 30 continuous minutes. I have done this 7 days a week for over three weeks.  So it should feel easy right?

The reality is my body feels like a rigid piece of metal. My upper body feels like it moves independent of my lower body. My trunk does not seem to connect with my legs and each step  takes effort and thought. My form is crap. My first real test  was the 4 x 1 mile. I waited until dark because it was  hot and humid. I jogged over to the 6th street track which is 1.06 miles away. My pace  on the track was 7:29, 7:28, 7:24, 7:59. I do not know what happened on that last one but it was such a big jump that I stopped there. I had thought about doing 5.  I  noticed my shadow as I ran and it appeared that I might have a  limp. My last two 30 minutes continuous runs averaged 8:15 pace. I would like that to be my marathon pace! To put things in perspective my 10k pace is 7:20 and my 4 mile pace 7:00.

Back in May running a fast cross country pace  felt very free and loose. I love that feeling of running up and down the steep dirt hills. But today’s run over the Williamsburg Bridge I had to focus on each step. Honestly, I  wanted to stop. My foot did not hurt, but my body  did not feel like it could  move. Going up the steepest sections I felt depressed when my garmin read 9:55 pace. Hopefully it was a malfunction or I pulled it together because my average at the end of the 3.5 mile run was 8:40. The pace is not bad for an easy  run, but  it was not easy, and that is frustrating. It is not taxing on my aerobic system and I barely sweat, but moving my legs feels very mechanical and labored. I came home and did 30 minutes of yoga which reinforces to me how much stronger  my muscles are;  now if I could just figure out how to make them move again. I know it takes time and I am happy I can run continuously. But for those of you with stress fractures, just know it can feel like you are learning to run all over again.

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I am very happy when I hear from people who are running after 5 or 6 weeks after their stress fractures. The short times saves oneself from accumulating adipose tissue while simultaneously losing their mind. I am on week 8 and suffering from both. In all fairness I did start running; rehab running with the Pete Pfitzinger, “Return to running after a stress fracture program. ” While my friends were out doing an 18 miler I was running 5 minutes walking 5 minutes x 3. But at least I was doing some movement that looked somewhat like running and it was not in the water.

The first week of the program was good.  There are three runs in 7 days. They were not without pain. My foot ached but stopped as soon as I began walking. The pain was not in the 3rd metatarsal but rather it is a general pain that moves around under my big toe and second toe and occasionally on the bottom of my foot and the top. Because it was not localized  I completed the workout.

Over the weekend I also found the excellent source of The Brigham and Women’s Hospital,  Dept of Rehab. They have a great Running Injury Prevention Tips & Return to Running Program. In fact they take you through a 4 phase program. Phase 1: You should be able to walk, pain free, aggressively in a controlled environment. Phase 11 is a plyomeric program consisting of 470 jumps first with both feet then on each foot. Once a person can do that pain free they can move onto Phase 111 which begins with walking 5 minutes, running 1 x 5 and progresses over 5 stages. I am not pain free in the plyo but I am still adding Phase III, I spoke with my PT about it and we are monitoring it closely. This is a long program. Once Phase 111 is complete which is variable based on each runners healing the runner should be able to run 30 minutes every other day without pain in order to go into Phase IV.  Phase IV takes you from 30 minutes every other day up to 45 minutes multiple days in a row over a 12 week progression. That’s right week one starts with 4 runs, 3 at 30 min and 1 at 35. By week 11 you run 4 days at 45 mins., 1 days at 40 and 1 day at 35.  Twelve weeks to run  only 4.25 hours. I thought within 12 weeks I would be running at least 10 hours a week.

Fourteen weeks from now is the NYC marathon. Obviously I am out. There is no way even if I could double up this program could I run it. Thank goodness I qualified for Boston last year. I decided my next big race goal will be the Boston Marathon. In the meantime I am reading Brad Hudson’s, Run Faster from 5k to marathons. Hudson is the coach of Dathan Ritzenhein who often comes up in conversations about elite runners and injury, since Ritzenheim had suffered many injuries prior to working with Hudson. While I work my running legs back up I am swimming 3x a week and building some nice upper body muscles. From now until the end of the year it will be all about building strength and aerobic base and dealing with the unfortunate depression of standing on the sidelines watching all the racers go by.

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