Final running workout before our 5K

One day left to workout before the Spring Scramble 5K.  It’s funny, TJ likes to run the day before a race and I don’t.  My best runs are usually the day after a rest day, so I’ll be running today and taking tomorrow off.

Yesterday I completed a hard workout (finally).  I feel it has been forever since I was able to do a workout.

I started out slowly and got in my 2 mile warmup with no problems.  I remembered my KT Tape this time and was able to use my new headset which was nice so that I could see how it did before the race.  I also wore my Asics Piranha shoes for the first time in a workout.  I did my sprints to get warmed up and then started my 1/4 mile repeats.

There were a lot of distractions and obstacles yesterday as I ran my repeats.  School was letting out and buses were all over the place.  Kids were riding bikes and playing.  In fact at one point, I was running up to a 4 way stop and a little girl was in front of me riding her bike.  She started to turn around and noticed me and got distracted.  Right then a car turned onto the street and she did not see it.  I yelled, “watch out” and the car honked its horn and she got quickly out of the way.  It was scary for me, but gave me some adrenaline to run on for a bit.

I completed all 8 repeats and averaged about a 6:30 pace which is what I wanted to do.  It was tough near the end.  Also, I didn’t tie my shoes tight enough and half way through the repeats the balls of my feet started killing me as they moved around in the shoe.  I could tell I was getting blisters.  Good to find this out before the race.  So I paused my workout and tightened my shoes and started up again.

Finally after I completed the workout I ran a mile cool down and headed home.  My achilles did great until the cool down.  For some reason (probably the workout) I could feel some pain, so I stopped after one mile cool down and just walked home.  I immediately put my foot into a bucket of ice water and let it soak for 15 minutes.

So all in all it was a good day.  I’ll be glad when this 5K is behind me.  There is another one in 2 weeks I am interested in.  I may run it – just for fun. 🙂

Running workout – Not yesterday!

The best laid plans…

I went out yesterday for my workout (1/4 mile repeats at 6:30/mile).  I was a bit hesitant since I had almost no sleep the night before and I was tired.  So I decided to set out for my 2 mile warmup and play it by ear.

Well I messed up.  I started way too fast.  About a half mile into my run I could feel my achilles again.  I got a bit overconfident and pushed to hard to soon.  By the time I got back home at the 2 mile mark, when I should have been putting on my racing flats, I decided the workout wasn’t going to happen.  My achilles wasn’t too bad, but I could feel a tug and I just don’t want to mess things up this close to the 5K.  I was wearing my Saucony Fastwitch shoes (which are becoming my favorite everyday shoe), so I changed into my Saucony Mirage since they have more support.

I did well for the next half mile – no pain and felt good.  Then I felt the tug again.  I threw in the towel.  I stopped at 3 miles, went inside, got a bucket of ice water and soaked my foot for 15 minutes.  TJ asked if I had used the KT Tape, which I hadn’t.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I forgot.

So I will try my workout today if I feel up to it.  I did get better sleep last night, however my family is passing around a virus that I am desperately trying to avoid and I don’t want to wear myself down and take a chance at getting sick right before the race.  TJ has already gotten over his virus and RS just got it yesterday along with my Lovely Wife.  HM is still in the middle of his infection.  The bad thing is it gets into your chest, which isn’t good for running a 5K.

So I will try to stay healthy and not push too much.  After the 5K on Saturday I’ll probably take several days off and walk or (as Strive Balance suggested) ride a bike.

Small change to my running form – Huge payback!

I found a possible key to improve my running this weekend.  I was reading an article on Friday about runner’s knee.  The article talked about people who run with their foot slightly turned inward which also means that their whole leg is slightly turned.  By practicing keeping the leg turned out as you run, this takes the pressure off the knee and relieves the pain.

I do have some knee pain as do many runners, but as I thought about this I realized that my right foot in particular has always had an issue of toeing in.  If I sit and hold my legs up, my right foot turns in at a 45 degree angle and my left foot at about a 20 degree angle.

So starting with my run Friday, I tried running and concentrating on keeping my feet pointing forward, especially my right foot and knee.  The result was quite amazing!  First, by doing this I was putting pressure on a different part of my achilles.  So even though the pain had already gotten better, I no longer have to fear pulling it again.

Second, I ran fast!  My run Friday was in the 8:15 pace range and Sunday I was running sub 8:00 miles.  I did have to cut my run Sunday short because of a pain in my left thigh, but I’ve had that problem for several weeks, however this is the first time it bothered my running.  I stopped just to be safe.

I think the reason I ran faster was because by pointing my foot forward, I was actually pushing off with the ball of my foot rather than the right side.  Imagine your foot toeing in while running.  You would no longer have as much power to push you forward. For me, when I pointed my foot forward, I was finally involving my whole arch in giving me a push as I run rather than the weaker right side of the foot.

No mater what the reason, it made such a difference.  I ran faster with much smaller effort. My run went so well, I knew it had to be due to the way I was holding myself.

Time will tell, but these type of positive changes are really exciting after a year of running.

Last post… about my achilles.

I guess that ice bath for my foot really helped.  I had no pain all day. I didn’t have to ice my foot (mainly because I didn’t even think of doing it) and when I ran, I had no pain in my achilles.  It was really quite amazing.

Also my run went great.  After the 9:00 first mile, I averaged 8:17 for the last 4 miles.  I wasn’t trying to run that fast, but it was so nice to be able to run and not feel that twinge.  Also I felt great.  I wasn’t tired and my legs felt great.  I could have gone on for more miles, but I am really wanting to continue to cut back a bit before our 5K next week.  I  want to run it well and don’t want to take any chances with getting hurt again.

Today TJ, RS and I are going to run the 5K course to see what it is like.  We ran it last year but it has been a while and it is always nice to know the course before the race so you know how to run.

I hope this is my last post on my achilles.  I am still getting KT Tape today and going to use it as a preventative.  I’ll probably not have time to ice my foot after the run today since we will be far from home, but it should be fine since we are only running 3 miles.

Thanks to all who have been so helpful over the past week of my injury with suggestions and prayers.  It has made a difficult experience much easier.

Ice bath for my foot after my run. Life is good.

I ran my planned 4 miles yesterday and did pretty well.  My heel (probably achilles) was a bit sore during the day so I kept ice on it and kept it elevated most of the day at work.  Actually it didn’t hurt while I moved,  just as I sat.  

I had several people mention ice to me.  One coworker mentioned taking ice baths in college after running (and the night before a race).  A friend of mine also mentioned these compression and ice combos that look very intriguing (  

In light of these discussions, as I ran I got an idea (this happens a lot to me as I run).  Why not try an ice bath for my foot?   So I got home and found a bucket and filled it half way with ice.  I filled it up with water, sat outside with the dog as I usually do, and put my foot into the bucket.  COLD was my first thought.  I know from past physical therapy on my wrist that when you apply ice to an area, it first stings, then hurts and finally goes numb.  The point of numbness is what you want (but not too long of course).  So after about 15 minutes I took my foot out and let it dry and warm up.  The idea is that while it is cold, it is difficult for the body to get blood to that area, so when you take it out of the ice, blood rushes there.  That causes your muscles and such to repair much quicker.  

Well it was something to try.  I don’t know if it did much for me.  My heel is still sore today but not to walk on.  I may take today off and give it more time to rest.  The hard thing is that it doesn’t hurt when I run or walk, so I hate to just sit.  But I do what I need to do.  I Cor 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”  Why run, live or do anything half way.  I want to do everything to the best of my ability while being wise at the same time.

So that is my latest adventure.  Tomorrow TJ, RS and I are going to run the 5K route we will run next week at the Spring Scramble.  We like to run our race routes ahead of time so we know the ups and downs and how to plan for the race. 

Should be fun.

The saga continues – achilles pain vs a 5 mile run

I made the decision yesterday that I would try to run.  I felt well and my achilles felt fine, but I didn’t know what would happen as I got out on the road.  The day before I had to cut my run 3 miles short, not because of pain, but just a nagging tinge in my achilles.

Yesterday as I began to run, I decided that if I couldn’t make my run because of pain, I would just stop the rest of the week and give my injury time to heal.  Of course as I ran I was super conscious of any discomfort from my achilles.  A few times I wondered if I felt something, but then decided it was just “normal” pain.  What I mean by normal pain is that I always have some type of pain while I run.  Either my hip or my thigh or, yes my achilles.  I used to think that the achilles pain was heel pain, but now I know differently. Also normal pain goes away and real pain does not.  So while I ran, if I thought I was having any type of pain, I would relax and make sure I wasn’t running too fast and eventually I felt fine again.

So to finish this story… I finished my 5 mile run.  It wasn’t a PR by any stretch of the imagination.  I ended up running a 9:00 pace, which is just about where I wanted to be.  Slow enough to not get hurt, but just fast enough to feel like I ran.

I got to the last tenth of a mile and I had a tinge of pain in, yes, my achilles.  It was more than just phantom pain, it was real, but it went away and I slowed way down and finished the run.  I got home and elevated my legs and played with the dog.  No I didn’t use ice. Sadly I forgot, but I will today just to make sure all is well.

My goal the rest of the week is to keep at the 5 mile mark until I run several days with no issues.  Sadly our 5K is coming up next weekend and I really wanted a PR.  This may impact that, but it might help by giving me some much needed rest.

All in all, yesterday went well and I can run again today.

I just need to take it one day at a time.

Run through the pain? Not this time!

Yesterday I wrote, “lessons learned” and then in the afternoon I had a chance to prove that I learned a lesson.

I have found that it is important to run even when I don’t “feel” like it.  If I don’t run when I’m tired or a bit sore, I’ll never run.  That isn’t good and I would never meet my goal of qualifying for Boston.  On the other hand, I have had to learn the lesson that sometimes it is important to listen to your body.  Some aches and pains or even just being tired is a sign that things aren’t going in a good direction and perhaps I need to pull back some on training or even take a break.

Yesterday was great running weather.  I had only run once for 5 miles since last Thursday because my achilles was hurting. But my 5 mile run on Sunday went very well and I had no problems yesterday during work, so I was excited to hit the road running.  I  don’t have a run plan this week, but just a “see how it goes” plan.

I got 1/2 mile into my run and I felt that pain in achilles.  Ugh.  I realized that I was so looking forward to my run that I started too fast.  I slowed down and ran relaxed trying to make sure I wasn’t pushing off my feet, but allowing gravity to move me forward. It was too late.  That pain, not severe pain mind you, but still pain, was back and I couldn’t get past it.  I ran for a total of 2.2 miles and decided to walk home.

It was disappointing to me that I had done a stupid thing and started too fast, but in the end, looking back, I’m excited that I showed that I had learned a valuable lesson.  I know that I shouldn’t push past pain all the time.  I know that it isn’t a bad thing to stop a run in the middle.  I learned that if I act wisely today, then I’ll be able to run tomorrow.

I’ve learned that there are runs that you push through the pain and meet your goal and there are runs that need to be stopped and you go home and rest.

I’ve learned lessons this past week that I hope I continue to remember.  I’ll probably never be a “great” runner.  But with consistency I can be a good runner. However if I don’t run with wisdom, I won’t be a runner at all.

I’d rather walk home from a run, then finish it and have to stop running.

I hope I remember this lesson next time.

Back running – lessons learned

I got back in the saddle again yesterday!!!  Yup, I ran 5 miles.  My run went well and I had no pain from my achilles!!!!  It was nice to be back so soon and I didn’t want to overdue it, so I ran slowly, especially at first.

Today I still feel fine.  I guess a couple days off with my foot elevated and on ice did the trick.  It amazes me that it hurt so much Friday and by Sunday I was running again.  I am grateful.

I am going to keep the next few days lighter than normal and make sure not to mess anything up.  Also, I think I was overdoing it a bit and I need to cut back for a week or so to make sure I don’t overtrain.  I think that between overtraining and not sleeping well I created the perfect storm for getting injured.

I’m excited to get back out on the road.  I also need to get the 5 lbs off I gained over the past week.  Ugh.

Note to self: If you aren’t running, you need to cut back on your eating.

Lessons learned!

Achilles Injury – Update

I think I will try to run some today.  My achilles is better.  I walked a lot yesterday doing errands and had no problems until the very end of the day when I could feel a little tightness.

Today I am going to play it by ear (or I guess I should say, feel).  I’m going to take it slow and easy and if I feel anything, I’ll stop.  I really want to be in good shape for our 5K in two weeks and don’t want to mess anything up with running, so I’ll see how I feel today.

First, I have to work for a couple hours.  This afternoon it is supposed to rain, so I’ll try to sneak my run in before the rain. It definitely won’t be a long run – I hope to make 7 miles or so.


Achilles injury – Day off #2

No run day yesterday.  I spent the whole day at work and home with my foot elevated and ice on it.  I have ice on even as I write this.  It is feeling better this morning overall.

This is probably a good thing making me take some needed time off, but it is a bit frustrating.

We will be going out today doing errands, so I’ll see how I feel and base my decision to run tomorrow on how I do today.  Either way I won’t be running my long run tomorrow, just a 7 mile easy run.

Thanks to all who have commented or emailed and wished me well.  It means a lot.