April 17, 2010

Recent Spectating and Pain Free Running

One thing that I've been reminded of with my Achilles tendon tweaking is that the older I get, the longer it takes to heal. Apparently, this trend continues as we age. One of my 100 year old exercise class participants recently told me, "I just don't bounce back like I did when I was 85." Point taken.

Last weekend, I ended up heading down to Zumbro River Bottoms to support several ultra buddies who were participating in the second running of the Zumbro 100 mile trail race. Since the course was a little different this year (and even "sportier" than last year since Larry took out the flat part), I really wanted to get out on the trail to check it out. I also didn't want to do anything stupid that would set me back, since my Achilles tendon still didn't like uphills. Ended up just hiking from the start/finish area to AS 1/4 for about 6 miles of very pretty trail.

Zumbro River from Pine Trail Overlook

Got to visit with Jen who was manning the AS and Donny who had started sweeping the course. Alicia was also there and we got to see a few runners come through on their last loop before heading back to watch the finish. The weather for that weekend was absolutely perfect - it was tough to maintain the discipline to not run and re-tweak my Achilles! Everything was feeling great after the hike, though it did get a little stiff and sore later that evening. Not painful, just tender. My calf also felt like it was on the verge of cramping, but never really did lock up. I decided that my game plan worked perfectly: I stressed it enough to keep it rehabbing without overdoing it.

Today I ended up at Hyland Lake on another perfect day to support my buddies who were running at Trail Mix. Since the parking area gets ridiculously crowded for this race, I didn't get out there until after 11 am when most of the 25K runners had left. The rehab had been going well since Zumbro, so I decided that I would take a stab at running in the Vibram Five Fingers for the first time in 6 weeks. Hyland is the perfect place to try since the trails are soft, flat, and non-technical.

Saw a few familiar faces in the finish area: Eve and Kim had already finished first and second for the women's 50K. Decided to head down the trail in the reverse direction to see if I could find anyone I knew. Les was on his way in to finish his 3'rd lap, Shelly wasn't far behind. Did a little running on the Lake Trail and it felt wonderful! Got almost as far as the AS that intersects Lake and Hill trail junction when Wayne came along. I ended up running back to the start/finish area with him - still pain free running :)))

Decided that I would head over to the ski hill to catch another section of the course, but.... the course had been changed and there was no ski hill section. Went up and over the ski hill to get back into the park, but didn't see any sign of the course in that area. Ended up calling it a day after running about 3 barefoot miles..... 3 pain free barefoot miles....and heading home.

Time to get back to increasing miles, but still not do anything stupid by trying to do too much, too soon. Will probably decide at the last minute whether to head out to Afton with the gang tomorrow (50K fat ass starts at 8, picnic at 3), or go back to Hyland and try to figure out what this year's Trail Mix course was. I don't suppose anyone who ran Trail Mix captured the course on their Garmin and would like to share?

See you on the trails!


Jean said...

Good to hear your running is coming along, Kel. That is great!

I was in the 25k at Trail Mix today, but this was my first time there. I saw Wildknits around mile 5 and asked her when we get to the ski hill, and she told me they skipped that part this year! :) So I am not sure I would be much help deciphering the course...my directions were all screwed up!

Nice day out there though, wasn't it?

Mark H. said...

Hi Kel,
I'm glad you got a few good miles in today. I hope to somehow get to meet you one of these years instead of just through the internet.

I have a Garmin chart from today. Go to: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30365549?sms_ss=email

If you look at my HR by chance, ignore the first few minutes. That data is not accurate.

Good luck with increasing your miles. Take care.

Mike said...

Glad to see you are working your way back. Very good idea to show restraint. So were you and Wayne both wearing your "monkey or flintstone shoes" as he calls them? He had said he was going to run in them today.

Good luck with getting all the way back, you still have plenty of time for your races.

Steve said...

Great news hearing your recovery is going well. I am envious, but very happy for you. Now stay healthy!!! ;-)

treklightly said...

Great to see you try barefoot running! Running barefoot and in minimalist shoes got me back into running last fall. My knees had been rebelling from running for a few years prior to that.

I posted a map of the 2010 Trail Mix Race on my blog if anybody is interested. I couldn't find anything out there when I was training for this race, so I thought I would make one available.

treklightly said...

I guess I should probably post my blog address if I'm going to refer people to it! ;-)