March 27, 2010

Starting Over

Remember during our last episode when I mentioned that transitioning to longer mileage while running barefoot was taking longer than I'd hoped, but I was trying to be patient and not do anything stupid?

After a few months of consistent, gradual increases in easy barefoot miles on an indoor track, I decided that it was time to add in some "speed" intervals. This particular indoor track is very small - 16 laps/mile, which means that the corners are pretty tight. My plan was to run just a few half mile repeats after an easy warm-up and see how things felt the next day. The first couple repeats went just swell, but as soon as I took my first step on the third, my right achilles tendon had other ideas. Apparently, it doesn't like tight corners on a repetitive basis. Crap.

Next day my tendon was absolutely on fire! I figured that at least I know what to do to treat it and that it was most likely just the sheath surrounding the tendon rather than the tendon itself... and that it would take about 3 weeks to heal. Things seemed to be progressing as planned, and it even felt good enough for a test earlier this week. Until I took the first running step. No go. Back to foam rolling the calves, eccentric only calf strengthening exercises for gastroc and soleus, trying not to over do it too much during the six exercise classes that I teach every week at the nursing home, etc.

This morning was 3 weeks + 1 day after the initial tweak. Instead of heading out to Afton and pounding hills with the gang, I opted for an easy 2 mile run around Bredesen park near my home to see how things went. Felt pretty darn good! I am optimistic that I can start adding miles again, but will have to go slow since I ran low barefoot miles all winter. Again: be patient. Don't do anything stupid.

Which brings up my 2010 running plans:

Instead of the time and expense of heading up to Lutsen for the spring Superior races, I'm going to stick around town and will probably run the Two Rivers Shuffle fat ass with Shawn and crew. Distance to be determined depending on how things go, but definitely not the full 50.

Kettle Moraine 100K is out for this year for a variety of reasons, but I'd really like to run it in the near future (2011?).

Since I won't be running Kettle, I'm pondering the 50K at Afton instead of the 25K, even though the heat and humidity of Afton in July can be overpowering. It would be 8 weeks before my 50 miler at North Country in Michigan, and it's close to home so I can save $. And I may actually get a legal parking spot at the park this year since the 50K starts an hour before the 25K ;)

I hope to run Surf the Murph again in late fall, but won't decide on which distance until after North Country.

See you on the trails!