These past two weeks have been busy and interesting. Two weekends ago, I ran an easy 13 miles (while they ran 12) with the group of friends and colleagues that I've been training for their first half marathon. The run was pretty uneventful - I wore Sockwas because I was trying to protect the new skin that had been under the large blister I got after the AR50 training run.
The shoes did the trick for protecting the blister. However, after that run, I had picked up a pain behind my second toe on my left foot. I supposed that at some point on the run I managed to step on a rock and possibly bruised the bone. After a week of no easing on the minor discomfort, I checked to see if I had embedded something in my foot. I did manage to find a tiny splinter of something, but even after removing it, the discomfort was still there. So, either I managed to get a bone bruise or there is something small in my foot.
This past weekend, I went out to watch my team run their first half marathon and take pictures of all of them. It's very different being on the sidelines of a race. I've only done it a couple of times since I started running, but it's fun to cheer on people you've trained. They all finished and they all did GREAT!!!
|The gang with their medals for their FIRST half marathon! Congrats everyone!|
So, Sunday night after the half marathon, still concerned about my healing blister, I taped my foot, threw on my Merrells, and headed out for an easy 6 mile run. At the end of the run, my right achilles was feeling very tender. I've never had any issues with my achilles so I was immediately concerned. Looking back at my run, I think I've narrowed the issue down to a form problem. For the first 3 miles of my run I was very tense. I was completely stressing out about my pace for Saturday's race.
A little background - I had been unable to secure a pacer for the race. However, I did manage to find a group from the neighboring town who has 5 runners in the race. Also, the manager of the local Fleet Feet and a couple of his employees were also running the race. I began worrying about if I'd be able to hang with one or more of these people.
So, while obsessing over pace and running very tensed up in new shoes I managed to strain my achillies. First of all running tensed is not good. Secondly, I think I was overcompensating my landing (I have a tendency to heel strike in "normal" running shoes) and not letting my heel touch down as much as I should have. As a result I ran almost 6 miles mostly on the balls of my feet.
I've been resting, icing and massaging my heel now for 3 days. It's feeling better. I'm just hoping and praying that it does not become an issue this Saturday.
A note about visualization... Until last week, I was having difficulty visualizing the race completion in my mind's eye. I have managed to get that solved which has reduced the amount of stress and calmed my nerves somewhat. However, I'm still a bit more nervous than I usually feel - something my wife has noticed. She says I'm "freaking out" and she's never seen me do that before a race. I think I'm over the "freaking out" and ready to go out there and get this done!!!
I'm going to try and post one more time Friday before the race.