Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Journey to a Barefoot 50-mile Endurance Run: Weeks 16 and 17 of 18

Ok, this is it... the final countdown is t-minus 3 days to the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run.

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!
Last week I finally went out an bought my first pair of Merrell Trail Gloves.  I've been drooling over these for probably a year or more.  The timing was right with gift cards and sales that I bit the bullet and got a pair.

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. 

1 comment:

  1. I think once you get to that starting line you will be ready to go and everything will come together for you. Good luck. I can't wait to hear all about it.