So remember in my last post about my Leadville training, I stated that I need to remind myself that those aches and twinges are likely nothing? Well there are three things I will not play around with: hamstrings, bone pain and the achilles. If you eff around with those and don't let them recover, you can end up side-lined a lot longer than if you had just listened to your body in the first place. I decided to listen in on Friday, finally.
My long run the Saturday prior produced a funky achilles pain I had never felt before and after some quick stretching I was good to go, but I didn't forget about it. I paid attention to it in the following five days and decided maybe I should take it easy since it was still really tight. Perhaps it was a rash move, but I decided on Friday night that I would not be running any legs of the Beer Run 100 with my fellow CHUGs, but would instead play crew for the race. That pissed me off and set me off on the wrong foot to start the weekend, as I had really been looking forward to running this one. But, by about sunrise on Saturday morning as I sat in the truck at some unmarked intersection in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin waiting for our 100 mile runners to make it into the checkpoint, I decided I was very happy with my decision. I made a mental note that I would be taking the next seven days off of running and focus on pool running and cycling to give my achilles a rest. I laid out a plan in my mind and that's all it took. I also kept ice on the leg for 10 minutes every hour much of the day, stretched like nobody's business and generally enjoyed the experience and helping three peeps finish their 100 mile adventure (this being a first 100 mile run for two of our runners!).
Sunday, after waking up in the rain in a muddy campsite, swarming with enormous mosquitos, Geof and I drove home and immediately snapped to it cleaning the truck, unpacking, hand-cleaning all of our camping gear (what a task!), watering the plants, lifting weights and then heading out for an hour bike ride around Northerly Island.
Monday, I headed down to the pool for an hour pool run. I have been saying for almost a year now that if I can run 100 miles I can do anything. But now I have a new qualifier: if I can run in the pool, essentially in the same spot, for a full hour, with NO MUSIC, I can do anything! It was a very good workout...now if only I were as fast on land as I am running in the pool :)
Tuesday, I grabbed Geof's road bike (I still have yet to replace my kickass bike that was stolen almost two years ago...!) and headed out for an early a.m. 12 mile bike ride around Northerly Island. I did intervals around the 1.4 mile loop and my quads and hams were burnin' before I was done! Awesome ride.
Today, I went back down to the pool and did a new workout for 30 minutes. As soon as someone new learns I'm training for Leadville, the most common question is "how do you train for altitude?" Well, since I don't have two spare weeks to spend at altitude leading up to the race, I'm working on raising my VO2 max as much as possible, in order to be more efficient at altitude, and found a good link here with simple workouts to help boost your VO2 max. So easy, even I can do it :) I have used the 30/30 concept a handful of times before, not realizing what it was, and really like it, so once I'm back running I'll pick that up again. Today, however, I applied the 30/30 concept to my pool run: 30 seconds sprinting hard enough that I was gasping for air, followed by 30 seconds of easy recovery. Bam! That made the pool run fly by!
Earlier this week, I saw my podiatrist again, Dr. Chin, for a follow-up on the nodule on my left plantar fascia. It's much better! I mentioned my achilles issue. He checked it out and then decided it is most likely from tight calves, and agreed with me that it's also due to no longer having the extra heel lift from wearing orthotics all the time. So he gave me 1/8" heel pads to wear in my flat day-to-day shoes to take a little strain off the achilles, and a ProStretch doodad for some excellent calf stretching. Things are already looking up.
National Trail Running Day is set for August 21, 2010! This works out perfect for moi as that's the same day as Leadville 100, so you can bet I'll be observing this most illustrious of trail holidays :) The website has a list of events being held that day, as well as trail running resources. A big thanks to Chris Barber at Serious Running for the information!