Sunday, October 5, 2014

Run Journal - #35-37

Wednesday - #35

My achilles felt good Wednesday, but I still wanted to take it easy on them. I decided to go ahead with the planned 20 min. easy run but do it in an especially easy manner and also knock our a chore I'd been planning for a while at the same time. The "chore" was to calibrate my foot pod with all of my various shoes at about a 9:30 pace (my intended marathon speed). Each calibration is about .5 miles so roughly 5 minutes and doing 4 pairs of shoes (I already have the calibration numbers for my Merrell Bare Access) would come out to around 20 minutes with a nice healthy breaks each time I changed shoes.

Stepping away from the achilles thing for a minute; this was the first time I had ever had an opportunity to run with my different shoes one after the other. This helped to highlight the differences between each. The Kinvara's just feels like home. They're light, and comfortable, and they fit my feet amazingly well. I calibrated them directly after the Hoka Huakas, and the difference was huge. The Huakas aren't bad and I think I'll continue to use them in certain situations, but I can't see them ever becoming my go-to shoe. The Nike Free 4 Flyknit were great, but of all the shoes I tried, they did seem to aggravate my achilles the most. Perhaps that was just because they were the first shoe I wore that evening. Finally, the Altra One 2's were just weird. Really squishy and almost a bit unstable, even compared to the Huakas that had a bit more cushion.

I was pretty pleased with my achilles during the run. There were a few twinges, but nothing that worried me too much. I was sore afterwards, but some ice and anti-inflammatory cream (prescribed by the doc I'd seen the previous day) helped. It was a relief to see some improvement from Monday. The discomfort/pain was so different than what I'm used that I was really worried that I had done something that was going to crush my goals.

Thursday - #36
Details: 30 minute tempo
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

Again, things went pretty well, although I planned the run poorly and ended up going out in about 90 degree heat. Dumb. I felt pressure in the right achilles but no stabbing pains like I had Monday; just an occasional moment of unusual discomfort. I was pretty sore afterwards, but the same treatments as the previous day and a great yoga session helped out quite a bit.

I am stretching my calves and achilles well before and after each run and then foam rolling and ball rolling each evening. It's appears to be helping.

Saturday - #37
Details: 12 mile long run
Shoes Saucony Kinvara

Rocking the purple calf sleeves; a paragon of fashion, I am

This was the real test. How would things hold up on another long run? As it turns out; pretty well. Even with my achilles issue and trying to take it easier today, my time came in pretty darn fast. Was it iron determination that saw me through? Force of will? My never say die attitude? Hahahahaha... don't be ridiculous. It was none of those things. Want to know the secret?


Oh baby was it cool out there this morning! I cannot even begin to describe what a difference 15° cooler makes. Unbelievable. With 12.44 miles done at a 10:10 pace, I was feeling GREAT! I mean, yes, my achilles was sore and I'd felt twinges of discomfort throughout the run but nothing serious, and I was barely winded. I ran through my rest periods a number of times on the run simply for the heck of it because I wasn't tired, and there's no doubt in my mind it was all due to the temperature. I'm now officially jealous of the northern summer runners.  Of course, now we're entering the time of year where Southeast Texas begins to shine. Sure, we'll have a few freezing days, but between now and the end of March, we'll have a ton of 50 and 60° days that will more than make us for the mind numbing heat and humidity of our summer.
12.4 miles. 2 hours. No land speed records here, but I'll take it.

I followed up the run with a yoga session. This has now become a regular part of my Saturday run recovery and I think it's paying off big time. The session was with someone new (new to me, anyway) and each instructor has their differences, but you'll get no complaints from me. Through luck, we happened to do a few hip opening stretches that were terrific for after a run. I'll need to remember to do those on my own if the class doesn't do them, as they seems to directly target some stiff post-run areas.

My Thursday instructor thoughtfully brought to my attention a Yoga for Men four week workshop at another studio in Katy. It's something of a drive to get up to Katy, but it seems interesting and my recent Yoga 101 class was an eye opener so I decided to give it a go and my first session is Monday.

Finally, I'm cautiously optimistic about my foot issue. A little soreness today, but I was nowhere near hobbling around like I was last Saturday and Sunday. I'll continue to work with it and baby it a bit. If all goes well, I'll not only feel comfortable doing the half marathon this month, I may reconsider continuing my work towards the full marathon.

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