2.0 Miles too Many 7

Course Map 7-30-13Last night I was just too tired to go ahead and write this up, so I get to do it this morning.

Originally, I was going to do an easy track workout, but the more I got to thinking about it, I know myself and probably would have gone too fast on the repeats, so I decided to run between 5 &6 – which I didn’t do.

I am still limited to no major hills, which meant that I needed to either run the rail trail in Augusta or in Waterville (avoiding Mayflower Hill). Since I was volunteering at the Quarry Road Trail Series from 4-7, I decided to run in Waterville. I started at Colby College and ran down to Silver Street and then back to Colby.

When I went by Fred’s Coffee it was still 83 degrees and I didn’t bring water with me, which would become an issue later. I just kept taking the longer route turns, and 5-6 miles turned into just over 8.0 miles. Which was 2.0 miles too many.

Garmin Stat 7-30-13

As you can see by the big dips in the Garmin screenshot, I did some serious walking after 6.0 miles. The heat, lack of water and my Achilles all were barking pretty loudly at me. So I did some walking to make sure that I made it back in one piece. While I walked my Achilles loosened up and I started feeling better, so I ran slowly the rest of the way in.

How did the Skecher GoRun2’s do on the run? I didn’t think about them and didn’t really notice my feet. Which is all that I want from running shoes, to put them on and forget about them. 8.0 Miles is a good test and my right foot didn’t bother me at all, while my Achilles probably really isn’t ready for this distance yet, this morning I don’t have any lingering affects from the run = good thing.

RunLog 7-30-13

Limitations and a 6.2 Mile Run 7-29-13

IMG_0250-004I had a great session at physical therapy and the PT is teaching me the things that I will need to do for myself since I only have one more session before I am done.

This is due to financial reasons (yeah that co-pay thing and a fixed income) more than physical therapy not doing more for me. Which is too bad, but is reality for most of us.

We decided to delay the last session until late August, just to see how I am progressing without “adult” supervision to remind me a couple of times a week to slow down and that I need to behave myself.

I am not quite as stiff as a 2×4 anymore, Caroline has tried diligently to get me so I can at least move somewhat like I should, so that part has been very successful. My Achilles tendon is not nearly as sore as when we started, which is great and I am back to running.

 

So what are my limitations still:

  • NO TRAIL RUNNING, I can walk trails – that hiking thing, but no running for at least 2 more weeks.
  • Go easy on the speed work – no sub 1:45 quarters or barefoot 100 yard strides for 2 more weeks.
  • No racing – I can go and run in a race, but no racing (yes there is a difference). Try to keep my pace above the 7:30 pace mile for 2 more weeks, then cautiously increase the pace back to sub 7:00’s.
  • Limit hill running. Yes I live in Maine, but there are areas that are flatter than others where I can run, so find them for a couple more weeks.
  • Run within my current physical condition, not where I was back on May 3rd.

As always if there is any increase in pain – STOP!

These are very reasonable limitations for being only two months out from injuring my Achilles Tendon.

After the PT session, I had planned on running 5.0 over at Quarry Road, but ended up running a 10K on the roads. Yes, that is right, I had originally thought about going to run over at Quarry Road trails, but with Caroline’s admonition not to run trails, I decided to be good and stay on the roads. That is what I will miss most is having that “governor” to stop me from being stupid and make me think, before I just do.

The old Ready, Fire, Aim thing that I tend to do too often.

Today’s Run

I ran from Champions down along the Messalonskee Stream Trail for the first time in years and found out that they had finished tarring it all the way through, which made it a lot easier to run on. Then I went over to College Ave and up to Motor Supply cross-over to the back road. During the run, I just kept up a steady pace and didn’t push.

Garmin Stats 7-27-13

Was I getting tired at the end? Absolutely! That last mile I started to slow down quite a bit and while I could have run farther, the 6.0 miles was just enough for me today. Honestly, I need to work on getting my base back more than anything right now.

RunLog 7-29-13

A Week of Progress

IMG_0569

I have changed my schedule back to Monday through Friday and back to a mileage based training schedule.
This old way is what I know and what I have done for too many years to feel totally comfortable with any other way. Yeah I am just old and like my routines.

Three things Running

1. I had over 25.0 miles for the week!!! Which means that I am getting back to running more normally again.

2.  The more that I run in the Skechers GoRun2’s the more I like them.

3. I need to be careful, to ensure that I don’t go too fast or attempt to do too much too soon, but at the same I need to balance that with needing to keep pushing myself to do more than I think I can. It is a delicate balance, but one that I need to maintain.

Running Summary This Week

My running summary this week:

RunLog Week of 7-28-13

Monday –Good News and Another 1st Run. I got confirmation that my left foot wasn’t broken or didn’t have a stress fracture, so I decided to go for a run to see how it felt. There was no pain and the bruising was going away. I did just over a mile and it felt good.

Tuesday – Relieved and Moving On.  I went for a 30 minute run and came back up, it was just an easy run and it felt good to just run. I was still a little meechy and attuned to every little ache and pain, but nothing hurt more than it should.

Wednesday – Light At the End of the Tunnel – This was the most intense workout that I have done since I injured myself on May 27th and it felt really good. The other part was that my Physical Therapist did a gait analysis and confirmed that when I run in the GoRun2’s that I land with a midfoot strike. This was my confidence building run that I have been waiting for.

Thursday – Town Office O/B. This was my first real hill run, since my injury, I wanted to do it, to see if the hill was going to bother me or not, for the 5K on Saturday, that has a good hill in it. The hill didn’t bother me and I felt pretty good the whole way.

Friday – Easy 7.0 Miler. I did a real long run of 7.2 miles and felt good the entire way. Yes I was tired at the end, but it did feel good.

Saturday – Peter Golding Memorial 5K Race – 7 people showed up and I finished 4th. However, I did what I wanted and made my “A” goal for this 5K – sub 25:00. I was a good boy and didn’t run the hills hard and when my Achilles started to tighten up after the big hill by the boat ramp, I didn’t push and just ran comfortably.

Sunday – As much as I hated to I took today off, I had 25 miles for the week and I felt tired. I ran more miles this week than I have for a while and I was beat.

Next Weeks Training Schedule

This plan is dependent upon how my Achilles tendon feels, while I believe it is going to be fine, if at any time, it starts to hurt, I plan to be conservative and stop or change the workout.

Monday – Trail Run 3.0-5.0 miles – Easy run/walk on the Quarry Road.

Tuesday –  Speed Workout 6.0 miles – go to the track and do 8×400 at a comfortable pace (1:45 or so) with 1 lap rest in between, then dependent upon how I feel 1.0 mile at sub 8:00 minute pace.

Wednesday – Either Long run 8.0 miles 9:00 minute pace or go to Winslow for 5k Race just for fun.

Thursday – Trail Run or a Base Run 3.0 miles dependent upon on how I am feeling after Wednesday’s run

Friday – Recovery run 5.0 miles – Middle Road Loop

Saturday – Race

Sunday – Rest or Race

Blog Posts

Here are my top ten posts for the past week based on page views:

  1. Some Heretical Thinking About Running Shoes
  2. Light At the End of The Tunnel
  3. Easy 7.0 Miler 7/26/13
  4. My Modified for Me Hanson Method
  5. Peter Golding 5K Race–Recap
  6. Relieved and Moving On
  7. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles
  8. Good News and Another 1st Run
  9. Skechers GoRun2–50 Mile Review
  10. Altra Instinct 1.5 – 50 Mile Review

Weight

Holding steady around 154. Now I need to stop the ice cream and chips diet that I have been on too much – moderation is one thing, but I am not being moderate, especially when it comes to the ice cream.

Time to start getting back into race shape now that I am back to running fairly regularly. It is time to get this down to 145 again, which means that I have to start looking at what I am eating a lot more closely and less emotional eating.

Injuries

My left Achilles tendon is finally getting better, it feels that I have turned a corner this week and have been able to do more with less pain than I have since the injury. Physical therapy and the “homework” I am doing is making a difference.

The Tailor’s Bunionette, which I consider the root cause of many of my running woes is feeling very good, especially now that I know how to treat it. I know that my shoes have to have wider toe boxes, no overlays over the bunionette and that I have to wear non-compression socks in that area, since making these changes, the foot is doing a lot better. I am also using the night splint to re-train the foot, so we will see how that works.

Running Shoes

The hard part is finding those “right” shoes.

Skechers GoRun2: They are the only running shoe that I want run in right now. Here is my 50 mile review of them, which says everything that I need to say about the Skechers GoRun2’s.

Racing Schedule

  • 7/31 – Roland Dyer Memorial 5K Race in Winslow – just running
  • 8/1 – Bond Brook 5K Trail Race in Augusta – still not sure about this one, I should probably wait one more week to do trail running.
  • 8/4 – Ron Paquette Riverfest 5K Race in Skohegan – just running
  • 8/10 – Doc and Mardie Brown 5K in Waterville – again no racing.

The Bond Brook 5K trail race series have started and I would like to run/walk it this week. Since I am still not cleared for full hill running, walk the hills and run everything else.

I need to find a goal race for the fall, either a 10K , 10 miler or a half marathon, I should be in good enough shape to run/race one by late October – any ideas in the New England area?

The reality is that

It almost feels as though I have turned the corner and am starting to move forward towards recovery. I know that I will have some more setbacks, but at the same time like I said in a post earlier this week – there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I can see it. Even if it is still quite a ways off for me to get back to running like I was on May 3rd.

Skechers GoRun2–50 Mile Review

The Skechers GoRun2 is not the running shoe that I would expect from a shoe company with Sketchers’ reputation, especially with how I viewed their attempts at making running shoes in the past.

Let’s be up front about my relationship with Skechers.

  • I do not have any.
  • I purchased the GoRun2’s with my own money.
  • My opinions are from a runner who initially was very skeptical about Skechers as a “serious” running shoe company.
  • The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Skechers GoRun2’s.

Okay, so I don’t have exactly 50 miles on my GR2’s, however I know that 42.41 miles on them is close enough for the purposes of this review. My opinion will not change all that much in the next 8.0 miles.

IMG_0555

You can read my initial review here and no this is not a Skechers’ advertisement, these are my own thoughts about the GoRun2’s.

Fit

IMG_0559The GoRun2’s fit my feet the way that I want, are one of the most comfortable shoes I have worn and this is the best first 50-mile impression of a pair of running shoes that I have had in a long time.

Which I think pretty much sums up how they have worked for me so far.

Now to get into the details.

I have a Tailor’s Bunionette on my right foot which causes a lot of pain in that foot after 5-6 miles of running, especially when my running shoes are too narrow or if overlays are on top of my bunionette. So far the GR2’s have not given my bunionette any issues and I have been able to just run.

The biggest compliment that I can give a pair of running shoes is when I put them on, that I stop thinking about how my shoes are affecting my feet and just run.

So far that is what I have been able to do in my GoRun2’s.

Choice

I have at least 6 different brands and several styles of running shoes around the house and in the 20 times that I have run since I purchased the GoRun2’s, I have chosen to run in them 18 times.

This tells me that the Skechers GoRun2’s are the running shoes that I want to run in and I have actually put many of my other running shoes in the give-away pile, because of how they feel compared to the GR2’s.

Now when I go run, these are the shoes that I Iook for first.

That says it all for me.

Pros

No Blisters – None, nada, zero, as in no blisters on my heels, toes, or ankles. I hate shoes that cause blisters and keep causing them. Blisters happened to me all too often this past spring – having all those bloody socks was not the highlight of my spring and I consider it a fail in the fit department and refuse to keep torturing myself in running shoes that keep causing blisters.

Cushioned Feel – Even though the GR2’s stack height is not as high as many that I run in, the midsole material provides a nice cushioned feel to me and I like the combination of being able to feel the road and yet have a feeling of cushioning underneath you, that these shoes give me.

Lightweight – Coming in around 7 oz., they are at the lighter end of my lightweight trainer scale and lighter than many of my race shoes have been. Yesterday, I used them in a 5K Race and although I am not in racing shape (2 months off will do that, along with certain restrictions still), I was still able to run a 24:16 and felt very smooth in my GR2’s.

I also have a feeling that the narrowness of my Ekidon’s will be their downfall and I will just keep wearing the GR2’s or maybe even look at the Skechers GoSpeed (GoMeb) racing flats. if I really feel the need for flats.

Sole – I like the multi-grip outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of IMG_0568conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, light trails, rain slicked roads, track, light mud and places where being nimble is important.

They don’t gain weight during a run, like my Nike Free’s did by picking up small rocks and having them lodge in the sole unit all the time. Actually I don’t think that I have had any rocks stick in the soles of the GR2’s yet.

I like these shoes too much and I have been walking in them a lot too. Which means that this pair of GR2’s will be wearing out faster than they would, if I wore them only for running. Actually this is a good problem I guess.

Hmmmm I wonder if this means that I should go ahead and just get another pair?

Quiet – One of the things that I want from my running shoes – is that they be quiet when I am running in them, which means to me that I am running efficiently. I run and walk extremely quiet in the GR2’s. I have only had one other pair of running shoes that I have had this experience in and the GR2’s seem to be even quieter than those were.

Promote Mid-foot landing – My physical therapist did a gait analysis of my running the other day and for the first time I was told independently that I land with a midfoot landing. I attribute that result directly to the GoRun2’s, due to the rocker that is built into the sole unit.

IMG_0557

Landing with a mid-foot landing, is something that I have worked on since November 2011 and have not been all that successful until now. The GR2’s reward me for a mid-foot landing, and I can definitely tell when I am landing on my heels, which gives me the opportunity to make the appropriate adjustments very quickly.

Cost – At a list price of $80.00, they are reasonably priced and a lot cheaper than the other running shoes that I have been buying over the past couple of years, which have had price points of $100-$140.

After discounts, I purchased my GR2’s for a little over $36.00. Now I probably will not get them for this price very often, but I have regularly seen them on sale in the $50-$60 price range, with free shipping, which is around half of the price I have been paying for my running shoes.

Color ways – I love the looks and styles of the shoes. Skechers’ designers have done a good job of making a great looking running shoe, which has multiple colors. I tend to like brighter colors and Skechers has plenty of bright colors, so that box is checked off.

Modifications

Rock Plate – Something that I did because they are a bit thin for running on dirt roads with lots of rocks or on rocky trails could be an adventure and not nearly as much fun, if I get my feet bruised up (I have run into this issue with other minimal style running shoes too).

IMG_0554

So I modified the removable rock plate from my Altra Superiors and put them in the GR2’s. I don’t even notice that they are in there. Now when I know that I am going to run some place where rocks are or could be an issue, I just slide the rock plate in and voila, it stops most of the problem with rocks.

Laces – Something I do with all of my running shoes is add LockLaces, I like the way they fit and how the LockLaces make taking them on and off so easy.

Cons

Road Feel – On rocky surfaces, they have a little too much road feel and if you step wrong on rocks you can definitely feel them through the sole. For some they will not have enough cushioning.

IMG_0542

Wear – I am not sure how many miles I will get out of the GR2’s, but based on the comfort and fit that I have in them so far and if I can get between 200-300 miles – I would be happy.

At this price point and with sales that are continually available, having to buy running shoes more often is not as big a deal. Who knows maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and they will last longer than the 300 mile ceiling that most of my running shoes seem to hit.

IMG_0564

The Skechers’ Brand name – It is taking Skechers time to overcome their previous reputation of not being a high quality running shoe company, but they seem to be – slowly but surely overcoming that hurdle.

My concern is whether Skechers will still have the same commitment they are showing to their performance division 5 years down the road as they are now. I am definitely liking what I have seen so far from the Skechers Go line and want to see them continue to make improvements in this performance line of running shoes. Time will tell on this one.

The reality is that

The Skechers GoRun2’s have become my go-to running shoe of choice.

IMG_0559

They are a lightweight trainer that I wear on my faster runs and surprisingly, the ones that I choose to use on slower or recovery runs too. I just like the way that they fit and feel when I run in them.

However, I have become more than a little skeptical about running shoes after my 50 mile reviews. All too often I have been disappointed by so many other running shoes that did great at the 50 mile review that just seem to stop working for me between 100 and 200 miles, that I try not to get my hopes up too high that these will be “The Shoes”.

IMG_0561

I am hoping that the GoRun2’s do not follow in this pattern and go well beyond that 200 mile point.

The GoRun2’s Feel Different

That being said, the GoRun2’s seem to feel different from many of those other shoes I have worn recently. My right foot does not hurt in these shoes at all; I have not had to go through the blister/heal/callous process – then repeat, and they allow me to run quietly. Something that I consider important also, is that they do promote a mid-foot landing that I have been attempting to move to for so long.

IMG_0552

I will be very interested in how the Skechers GoRun2 will be at that 200-mile mark and hopefully beyond. I wonder what my opinion will be then – it should be an interesting next few months.

All I know is that I want to get out and go for my next run in these shoes today and that I haven’t been this excited about many shoes at the 50 mile review point lately.

IMG_0570

See you later, I gotta go run! Smile

 

Peter Golding 5K Race–Recap

IMG_05232 Months Later.

That has a strange sound to it, because it was exactly 2 months ago that I partially tore my Achilles tendon at the Miles for Mills 5K.

Little did I know on that day when my heel hurt, that for almost 2 months I wouldn’t have been running all that much and how many changes that the outcome of a single race caused in my life.

However, I am back to running again and while it probably won’t be completely pain-free for another 3-4 months, I have clearance to run and do most everything, except run fast (no speed work yet), no trails (well the kind I like) and no hard hills (I am supposed to walk them or go real slow) or hill work. Which means I can run, but I still have to be careful.

So what did I do – I ran in a race this morning.

No I didn’t go balls-to-the-walls or race the race and yes when I hit the hills I did mostly what I was supposed to and slowed way down (sorry not walking during a race, if I don’t have to), not to stress the Achilles anymore than I had to,

The good news is that I did run in a race, came out the other side uninjured and feeling pretty damn good about it.

Peter Golding 5K Race 7-27-13

The first mile was a little faster than I wanted to go, but felt pretty good so I just stuck with it, then when I got down to the bottom of the boat landing road hill, I purposely slowed down going back up it – a LOT.

It doesn’t help that I don’t have my full stamina back either, but I kept plugging up that hill and it was over before I knew, I only swore at it a couple of times this year. Once I got to the top, my leg did tighten up a little, so I purposely kept to a comfortable pace and didn’t try to push it the rest of the way.

It was a little sore at the end, but not any problems.

It was too bad that only 7 runners showed up for the race, but sometimes that is what happens to little local races when another race changes their date to the same weekend and it was a bigger and more established race.

All I know that I had fun this morning and that it was a big confidence builder for me to be able to get under and 8:00 minute pace for my first race back with the limitations that I still have as far as speed work and hills.

View album
Peter Golding 5K Race
VIEW SLIDE SHOW DOWNLOAD ALL

View albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView album

So I met my “A” goal for this race, which was to break 25:00 for the 5k today. Which mean I was very pleased with how I ran and being able stand around and gab with the other runners and feel like a runner again, instead of being that injured guy over there.

It was the perfect low-key race to come back and just run. I didn’t have to worry about the clock or some other competitors pushing me to go faster than I should have. Not that I would ever get caught up in being a tad competitive Winking smile.

RunLog 7-27-13

Easy 7.0 Miler 7/26/13

Stevens Hill 7-26-13Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell my Physical Therapist that I just ran 7.2 miles. I have a feeling, she might have a coronary or something worse.

When she beats on my legs Monday, she is going to really make a pretzel out of me Winking smile

Sometimes you just gotta do what you are gonna do.

Today was one of those weather days that a lot of people don’t like – drizzly and overcast in the 60’s. Personally I have had some of my best runs in this weather, so when I got around to running this afternoon, I was only supposed to do a 5.0 miler at a 9:00 minute pace for my long run this week.

At about mile 2.0, I knew that just wasn’t going to be enough and I went to the Goodhue Road which means I would have finished around 6.7 miles, which of course meant I had to get over 7.0 at that point – right that is how it works isn’t it?

I just added a little to it, that’s all – I could have ran that 14.0 mile course like I considered when I got to Goodhue Road, but I was sort of good and just turned around and came back.

I went out easy and didn’t try to push the pace or anything, I just wanted to have a nice steady & slow long run – everything felt good, the Achilles didn’t complain too much at all and although my right hammie started talking to me at about mile 4.0 it stopped complaining after mile 5.0.

Garmin Stats 7-26-13

Not a fast run, not a push the pace run, just a run to get out there for an hour and keep plugging along. These are the runs that I really missed when I was injured and just help put things back into the proper perspective. This is the longest run that I have done since I injured myself on that infamous May 3rd 13.1 mile tempo paced long run.

As you can see by the photo, that it is VERY rocky down back since they put in this particular fill and as much as I am loving my GoRun2’s they are not quite enough shoe for this section to run – a little too much ground feel. However, once I get back on tar or the non-rocky areas, they really shine. I guess it is just a way to keep me going slower .

RunLog 7-26-13

Light At the End of The Tunnel

IMG_0289There is something up ahead, no, no it can’t be, it is, is, that is light. There is light at the end of this damn tunnel.

It is still a long ways away, but by golly gumdrops (I didn’t want to go too sailor on everyone) –  I see that freaking light in the distance!!!!!

Today is the toughest workout I have been able to ACHIEVE since before May 3rd!!!!

I might be getting older, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t heal, can’t push my ass harder and get back to where I want to be – I just have to be a little patient about it.

Today some of that patience started to pay off!

Yes, I am wiped, yes I am tired, yes I am sore right, yes I am ecstatic, yes I did run and yes I will be sore tomorrow! I don’t really care though, this was the confidence building, breakthrough day that I have needed so badly, just for my own mental health.

Did I do too much mmmmm

NO!

So what did I do?

Strength Training

The workout started out with an upper body workout where I upped all of my weights by 10 pounds, not really a big deal, but for someone with chicken wings, well you get the idea, it was huge, especially when I am purposely not going heavy. I am not crazy out lifting weights, but know that they do help.

Running

I ran on the treadmill, yes I know, I should have run outside, it was so gorgeous, but I had to be ready for physical therapy in a half hour, so I ran for 30:00 minutes.

5:00 @6.5 mph – h/r 147

5:00 @7.0 mph – h/r 154

5:00 @7.3 mph – h/r 157

13:00 @7.6 mph – h/r 163

2:00 @8.1 mph h/r 167

for a total of 3.68 miles in 30:00 minutes

5:00 minute cool-down

IMG_20130724_100014_873[1]

I felt really strong throughout and even though the heart rate is a little faster than it was before I was injured, it wasn’t absolutely wacked out and had incremental increases as I went faster. Within 3:00 minutes when I stopped running, I was back under 120 bpm and feeling good.

Yes I definitely worked up a helluva sweat, but I never felt out of control or stressed about how hard I was working, it just felt good and my Achilles wasn’t bothering hardly at all, which just felt good.

Skechers GoRun2

The surprising part was that I used my Skechers GoRun2’s and they perform flawlessly, I didn’t feel as though I needed to heel strike, everything felt smooth and comfortable, no problems with my tailor’s bunnionette – nothing.

I actually stopped thinking about the shoes and about how I was running and feeling, which is all I want from a pair of running shoes. Are they perfect – no, but they are working very well for me right now and are as good or better than any of the other shoes I have run in this year.

It gets better

My physical therapist came out and watched me run to check my form, so under supervision I went through the paces, increasing my speed from 6.5 to 7.0 to 7.5 to 8.2 and finally I got up to my old race speed of 9.2 mph.

NOTHING BROKE!!!!

My heart rate hit 174 bpm, yes I was breathing hard, but not out of control and I felt like I was RUNNING again, no I didn’t hold it for very long, but by damn, I got up there hand held it for almost a minute. She got a chance to see that I wasn’t all hot air and actually did run pretty fast for an old fart, and got good display of stride at various speeds (when I was fatigued) and making different comments, that I didn’t really listen to, because I was too excited to be running!

I ended with a helluva grin on my face and was all yechy, stinky and sweaty for the PT session. She didn’t seem to mind that too much, but gave me a towel to dry off a little bit to help turn-off the waterfall.

How is my Running Form?

  • I don’t pronate, if anything my right foot supinates slightly, more than like because I do have a leg length discrepancy
  • I don’t heel strike, she is a firm believer in running with a heel strike and we agreed to disagree on that issue and move on.
  • I have tight hips, hamstrings, calves and my glutes and periformis are tight (these are all areas I have complained about in the past)
  • My right foot flares out and a lot of my issues are on the right side of my body, not the left.
  • My hips don’t lie – they don’t swivel like they should when I run.

I will be honest, I don’t remember everything that she said, I was too excited about running so freely for the first time in a long time. The Achilles is still causing a little change in my gait, but as I am getting more motion in that leg, it is getting to be less of a problem (she watched me quickly one day before a different session).

After the cool-down and the my gait analysis at a bunch of different speeds, I had 50:00 minutes and 4.87 miles done!!!!

Physical Therapy Session

This gait analysis gave her a LOT to work on and will give me a lot to work on.

While she didn’t say that my gait is “f$%@ked up, she said that she could tell that I had been injured more than once and I had several areas that I have compensated for that are making me asymmetrical (unbalanced, but I knew that – I keep telling everyone that I am at least a half to a full bubble off level).

She worked correcting the leg length, which we have worked on before, loosened up the hip flexors and then went to work on the Achilles tendon some more.

The PT did say that because I am a midfoot/forefoot striker that I would have work at mobilizing my feet and Achilles for the rest of my life, because I put more strain on those areas and would be at more risk for injury. We discussed heel striking in running again and agreed to leave me as a midfoot runner.

She twisted me around like a pretzel and popped things that haven’t been popped, judging from the snapping and cracking going on – in years. I have heard of pretzel logic before, but today I was the pretzel and didn’t enjoy the logic all that much. I don’t bend and stretch those ways all that well, being as flexible as a 2×4.

Now I have a lot of home work and stuff to do 3 x times a day, but it is stuff that I have been wanting to do, but in trying to be smart I have not been working on that stuff until I got clearance. Now that I have the go ahead to do this – I will.

Yes I still have to ice after a run, stretch 3xday and a bunch of other things, but it is progress.

Don’t do TOO MUCH

The biggest thing she warned me is NOT to do too much and hurt myself, stay conservative, but still push – a little, just not a lot. Okay Harold the Barbarian, you are not in attack mode.

Not that a little old fart like me would ever do something like that.

Keep the strategy defensive for a little while longer Winking smile

The reality is that

this workout was something that I needed so badly, just to prove to myself that I am making progress and that I can get back to where I was – or better.

Does this mean that I am going right out and do this workout again tomorrow – no that would be stupid! I may not always act the smartest and maybe an idiot when it comes to running, but I am not stupid. Tomorrow will be a light/slow 20:00 minute run and I already know that I will be sore, so it will be more for getting out there to get things moving than do anything else.

Just a little excited today

Oh could you tell that I am just a little excited about what I did today. On the overall scope of things, doing this workout doesn’t approach world peace or anything, but it damn sure made me feel a lot better about MY recovery process.

Because the truth be told, I was starting to get pretty damn frustrated.

I know that there are going to be more setbacks, but I can come back to this post and read it again hear the excitement in my voice and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The light is there, but it just isn’t real bright yet Smile, but at least I see the damn thing!

By the way, I wore my idiots running club singlet today and it worked, I ran like an idiot, grinned like an idiot when I finished running and am smiling like an idiot as I write this post. It is amazing what a good run will do for you!

The power of the IRC Singlet!!!

How about you have you ever had one of those break through workouts, where you know that after it is done, you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel?

RunLog 7-24-14

Relieved and Moving On

IMG_0366Sometimes we just get too tired to do a blog post and that was how I felt last night. After getting back from volunteering at the Quarry Road Trail Race Series 4.0 miler and then working to get the photos I took posted to the Facebook page.

Doing a quick post on my run yesterday, just didn’t seem a priority and I needed to relax more than I need to force myself to write. That is why I am writing it this morning.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that if I wanted to run yesterday morning it wasn’t just raining it was pouring and at this point, in the recovery process it wasn’t worth the risk of re-injuring myself or just being completely miserable running in those conditions.

I waited until the afternoon to see how I felt then, luckily the downpours went away and turned to light right, which I actually find to run in. My foot was feeling good, but my Achilles tendon was sore for some reason.

Based on that I decided to walk a half mile first to see how my body felt after that. When I finished my warm-up I felt pretty good, so I decided to go down-back.

Brooks PureFlow2 7-23-13Something I have found out running down back and as much as I like my Skechers GR2’s, they are not the optimal choice for running on rocky dirt roads, so I ran in my Brooks PureFlow2’s and they did GREAT down back. They have a different feel and I have to focus on how I am running in them, instead of just running, but they did exactly what I wanted.

They have enough cushioning to protect my feet from the rocks and uneven spots and then when I hit tar roads again, they are a very quiet shoe, which is something that I am looking for in my running shoes.

If my running shoes are slapping or clunking on the heel, it means that I am not running efficiently in those shoes and I can definitely tell the difference.

Overall the run was a nice run, the rain felt good, I slowed myself down a few times, because I was purposely running slow yesterday and working to keep my pace over 9:00 minutes. I

The 30:00 minute run felt comfortable and I definitely could have kept going. Which is the important thing!

You don’t know how relieved I am that what happened last week was nothing serious. I was very scared that I had developed a stress fracture in my left 5th metatarsal area, it still does not feel quite right, but there is not pain and no increase in the symptoms. The black and blue is going away and looking better.

I do know that I ready to start running regularly – again and  get back to normal for me training.

RunLog 7-23-13

Good News and Another 1st Run

This morning I had a physical therapy appointment and during the appointment, the PT did a couple of things that made me feel a lot better about my most recent setback. She was extremely concerned about what had happened when she saw the photos. However, she became more perplexed, when I detailed the lack of pain or swelling.

IMG_20130722_083550_087

She didn’t try to do any diagnosis, but did some manipulation around the area, without causing any real discomfort and also used ultra-sound on the area. If I had broken something, the vibration caused by using ultra-sound would have definitely let me know something is wrong.

Basically we ruled out a bunch of things, which made me feel a LOT better about what is going on. Now to be honest, the area around my 5th metatarsal doesn’t feel quite right, but at the same time it doesn’t hurt, there isn’t any swelling and the bruising is going away very quickly.

The best we could come up with as causes for the bruising last Thursday, was that I did something while I was weed wacking outback or that I got too aggressive with my golf ball mobilization therapy and did something to my left foot.

 

This made me feel more than a little relieved about this most recent setback.

However, we talked and I agreed that I needed to be VERY conservative about getting back to running and take it one step at a time, instead of going out and be “Harold being Harold”.

This afternoon, I took it very easy and did a lot of heat therapy before I decided that I wanted to try to run. My foot was not sore and the Achilles felt good, so I thought it would be a good test.

I warmed up and still felt good, so I did the mile focusing on my arms and standing tall.

IT FELT GREAT TO BE RUNNING.

RunLog 7-22-13

While I was running there was no pain, it did take a few minutes to even out my pace, but once I did, I had to be careful about not going too fast and slowed it back down a few times on purpose. Without trying I did an 8:17 mile.

I was good and shut it down after a mile run and walked slowly another mile as a cool-down. It was a good confidence builder, but I am not going to go overboard and return to more normal running very soon. I still don’t know if that foot is completely right, something just feels odd about it.

So I will go slow and take my time, return to running while listening very closely to my body and if anything doesn’t feel right STOP. Being a hero and running through any discomfort in my foot, is not going to get me back to running normally.

RunLog S 7-22-13

Some Heretical Thinking About Running Shoes

IMG_0214Running shoes we love them, hate them, swear at them, swear by them, consider them indispensable or dispensable.

We give them too much credit when we are running well and too much blame when we are injured.

Whatever our views on running shoes are, most runners still slip them on our feet before we go for a run.

Over the years, I have become a running shoe snob and have a running shoe addiction problem. I have “learned” (sarcasm intended) that in order to run well that I have to be wearing the newest and greatest running shoes that the brands are offering. If a pair of running shoes cost much less than $100 originally, I would consider it an inferior shoe and not even consider running in them.

My wife tells me that I have a real problem with running shoes and I have to agree with her. Especially, since I purchased over 20 pair of them during the last couple of years, many of which barely made it to the 100 mile, which is much less than the “experts” 300-mile mark, before I stopped using them.

She thinks I am a little extreme in my Don Quixote search, for the perfect running shoe. Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of her observations and pithy comments.

Which I usually justify by saying “I have to have good shoes with all the miles I am running now”.

What have I run in over the past couple of years?

  • Mizuno – Elixir 7 (free media sample), Ronin 4, Ekidon, Wave Rider 16
  • Altra – Instinct 1.0, Instinct 1.5 (free media sample), Superiors, Torin, 3-Sum (free media sample)
  • Brooks – PureFlow 1, PureFlow 2
  • Nike – Free 4.0 v2, Free 5.0, Free Run+3,
  • Saucony – Peregrine, Kinvara 2, Viratta
  • Adidas – Vigor, Adizero Sonic 3, Marathon Trainer II (replica)
  • Newton – Gravity
  • New Balance – MT20, MT110
  • Asics – Gel Blur
  • Skechers – Go Run2
  • Skora – Base (free media sample)

In addition I have tried on many other shoes at various shoe stores: New Balance, Reebok, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Nike, Merrill, Asics, Scott, and Newton – that I did not buy because they did not fit right or another shoe met my needs better at the time.

Not Monogamous

Not exactly, what you could call a monogamous relationship with any particular running shoe brand and there are still a couple of brands that I have not tried yet that really intrigue me.

No, if anything I have been what my wife describes as a running shoe whore, always looking for my next “conquest” and all too willing to cast away the old ones.

Heretical Thoughts

Since was injured back in May, I have had time to think about my running shoe snobbery and addiction and come up with a few heretical thoughts that may guide my running shoe selection process in the future.

Heretical Thought #1

I can find a running shoe that I can run in quite nicely from just about any major brand.

Most brands have GREAT marketing departments and give runners all kinds of information on the different and great features that their shoes possess, along with many reasons why we should buy and stay loyal to their particular brand of shoe. They are damned good at their job and have influenced me several times – to lust after, until I try a brand’s latest and greatest running shoe offering.

I have found that it is not so much the brand of shoe, as much as the style of shoes that a brand sells. Personally, I prefer a lighter weight running shoe between 7 and 10 oz, with a drop between 4 and 8mm, a softer ride – more cushioning and a wide toe box or widths to accommodate my Tailor’s Bunionette. Almost all of the brands make a running shoe that meets these requirements.

While there are differences between running shoe brands and the style of shoes they sell, are the differences as great as the marketing departments make them out to be? I do not think so.

Heretical Thought #2

Do I really need to buy the latest – gee whiz running shoe?

Like most runners, I do not know or completely understand all the differences in technologies or designs between $80, $100, $120 or even $200 running shoes. I am not an engineer or a running shoe expert. I just run in them and expect them to work for me.

However, I have to decide whether the newest technology and designs make enough of a difference in how I run, to justify the significantly higher costs, often it does not seem to make all that much of a difference.

Which really makes me wonder if I need to continue to buy premium styles, especially when they first come out? After all, I am not attempting to be cool or stylish – I just want to run.

Heretical Thought #3

Minimalist running shoes are the answer to all of our running woes.

There is so much discussion, hype and marketing surrounding this type of running shoe. Listening to some of it – it would seem that minimalist style running shoes are the answer to all of our running injuries and woes.

However, my experience is different and to be perfectly honest I do not enjoy running in truly minimalist shoes, I find them uncomfortable to run in and have their own running related injury patterns for me.

Minimalist running shoes are not for everyone.

Heretical Thought #4

The runner makes the runner better, not the running shoes that you wear.

Many running shoe brands would have us believe that their running shoes will make you a better runner. While I believe that running shoes can help make a difference in how you run or how comfortably you run, the brand or style of running shoe do not make you a better runner.

You make yourself a better runner, by training correctly (mileage, pace, planning, research, strength work, etc.).

There is no magical running shoe that will suddenly allow you to run farther or faster. It takes time and hard work to accomplish those things. If there is I want it.

Heretical Thought #5

Just because a certain shoe works great for a friend, blogger or great runner does not mean that that same shoe is going to work great for me.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I think a certain amount of healthy skepticism is okay and necessary, when reading brand advertisements and product descriptions or blog and customer product reviews.

The reality is that

The running shoe snob part of me wants to believe the marketing hype and that premium running shoes are worth the high cost that brands charge us. Otherwise, why are we paying so much for our running shoes?

Unfortunately, that has not been my real-life experience with the more expensive, high-end running shoes. I do not run any better, still get injured and they do not seem to last any longer – than the supposedly second tier running shoes that I have run in.

Something has to give

I know that I cannot afford to keep paying $100 to $150 for running shoes on a limited budget, have them last only a month or two, before I have to buy another pair when I get back to my 50-mile weeks.

Something has to give.

Who knows maybe part of the answer is that I will have to turn-in my running shoe snob card and look a little more closely at some of those second tier running shoes or least keep an open mind about what I think of as a running shoe that I want to run in. Time will tell on this one, but I am going to be looking for running shoes that I like to be on sale, closeout or have steep discounts, before buying them.

How about you, do you have some heretical running shoe thoughts to add?