Thursday, February 5, 2015

Random racing ruminations: Week 14 and 13, Interruptions

Saturday (6.0 mile run)
Temperature 36 degrees
Mile 1 = 9:07
Mile 2 = 9:29
Mile 3 = 9:36
Mile 4 = 9:16
Mile 5 = 10:38
Mile 6 = 11:16

It's been a while since I've written about my training and this blog post contains all the reasons why.

Last week was my third week of training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon and it threw me for a surprise injury. My achilles tendons on both my left and right feet began to cause stiffness and pain. I immediately turned to some quick internet searches and quickly discovered achilles pain wasn't something to take lightly. While my issue was probably not serious, everything I read online pointed to a variety of possible reasons:
  • My activity increased too quickly after being sedentary
  • I was running too many hills
  • My workouts were maybe too intense
  • I wasn't lifting, cross-training, or building other leg muscles which put stress on the tendon
  • I'm over 30 years old, a common injury for people my age
  • I needed better shoes
Instead of going out for a three or four mile run on Thursday, I rested. I felt better Thursday, but thought it not wise to push myself. The decision to rest was frustrating for me because I'm already getting in the habit of looking forward to the days when I have a scheduled run.

Probably the best thing I did was take a trip to Peak Performance here in Omaha.This place is absolutely awesome for runners. I've never been there before and I was immediately impressed. I knew I needed a better, quality running shoe. The moment I walked in the door, I was happily greeted in under a minute by one of the employees. She asked what I was looking for and then stayed with me the entire time of the transaction. I described my problem with achilles pain. I explained I was training for the Lincoln Half-Marathon. She measured my feet and looked at my arch. She watched my gait walking around the track inside the store. Based on my walk and pronation, she directed my attention towards a certain set of shoes and happily grabbed four different kinds for me to try on. Then she analyzed how the shoes fit my stride, sharing with me the positives and negative of each pair.

Determined to get back in the routine of running after four days of rest, I put on my new shoes Saturday morning and hit the trail before the serious snow began for the day. The air was dreary and damp but it felt good to be out at 8:00a.m. The light drizzle was the only real challenge since my feet felt great and were adequately protected. I was happy with my fairly basic time each mile, but then at mile five a hill got the best of my breathing and I gave in and stopped for a short walk. Once I was able to recover my breathing I picked up my pace again until I hit another massive hill, not even giving it much effort this time around. I walked again. The six miles is the longest I've gone thus far, and also the first time I've walked this much on a run.

The Saturday run was equally thrilling and disappointing. What was injured most this week was my pride. I'm disappointed my training took a hit this early in the process. But I was ready and determined to get back out there and be persistent through the challenges of it all.

Snow came Saturday evening and Sunday. Then more snow fell early during week four of my training, halting any opportunity for activity outdoors. My running canvas now coated in a white blanket, called out for a change to running indoors for a while. We have a treadmill in our basement, unassembled, in a box. My plan to put it together and test it out was interrupted by travel for business. Once I get the treadmill up and running, I'll be up and running again.

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