Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Taper Begins

I waited until Monday afternoon to run, but when I finally got around to it, I was running out of time. I ran in a place called Sullivan's Canyon, which seemed to be a mountain bike mecca of sorts. The weather was rather warm in LA and I hit the trail with a t-shirt, hat and shorts, but I neglected to take into consideration I was in a canyon. There was no sun and I was damn cold the entire run. I tried to maintain an easy pace and shut it down after just 7 miles.

On New Year's Day, I joined Track Club LA for a light workout at Santa Monica College. The workout started at 11am, which was nice since I had stayed out until at least 2am on New Year's Eve. I ran 3 x 2k with the goal of running 5:00 pace: 6:13, 6:10, 6:14. I got in 8.

On Wednesday I met a cool dude from Malibu named Blue Benadum from yet another LA-area running group; the Los Angeles Speed Project. Blue's a 2:28 guy and the ringleader of a bunch of like-minded folks, many of which are gearing up for the LA Marathon in March. Some are trying to eventually qualify for the Olympic Trials. When I return, they'll definitely be a group to hook up with. I got in 12.5. 

The area where my leg meets my foot (at the top) was hurting near the end of the run and for the rest of the day. Hmmm.

I flew back to Maryland on Thursday, so instead of trying to jam something in (and hoping the extra rest would benefit my foot/leg) I took the day off.

On Friday I ran around Rock Creek Park in North Bethesda. That pesky foot/leg was a problem near the end, but I could still run on it. Damn, I thought this would be gone by now...

On Saturday I met a number of GRCers for a marathon-specific workout up at Duel Ferries. Chris Bain and I started our run at Sycamore Landing Road, and ran north along the towpath until we reached Edward's Ferry (3.75 miles). We met Sam, Karl, Dix and Charlie en route. I ditched my warm-ups and we proceeded to start the workout: ten miles (the first 2 miles easy, the next 6 miles at marathon pace, the final 2 miles a "push").

The workout started out just fine (5:54, 5:53), but a half mile later we had an encoungter with a horse (see recap here). In retrospect I (we) should have stopped and walked past, but we didn't. Lesson learned, though frustratingly I already knew this. The next mile was sorta slower than anticipated, but then I found my stride. Sam, who was running a half-marathon simulator, blew by me at mile 6 or so. I watched him pull away as I comfortable clicked away 5:30 miles. When my GPS watched beeped at mile 8, I took off and tried to close the last 2 miles close to 10:00. The "hill" just before mile 9 is a doozey. Sam, who stopped his workout at mile 9, was very helpful and proceeded to encourage me up the incline. It wasn't 10:00, but I still managed a couple of quick splits: 5:08 then 5:05. 

Splits from workout are below:
5:54, 5:53, 5:49, 5:35, 5:32, 5:29, 5:29, 5:29, 5:08, 5:05 = 55:25 for 10 miles.

Bain and I then ran a 3.75 cool down back to our cars at Sycamore Landing Road (17.5 miles). My foot/leg bothered me for most of the run, but it was pain I could live with.

I was scheduled to run an easy 12 or so the next morning, but my damn foot/leg was giving me problems. I opted to take the day off instead (and will probably take Monday off too) in an effort to rid this. 

It's the second time in as many weeks that something has derailed me from training. It's very frustrating...I'm so damn close. It seems as if I'm walking to edge of the abyss, staring down into its black hole, then slowly tip-toeing backwards.

The pain is something I imagine most runners have had; it feels as if the laces near the tongue of one's shoe are tied too tight or as if you need to crack your ankle, but as someone with more knowledge of the human body tells me: it's the Extensor digitorum longus tendons, which are likely irritated because my calf muscles (soleus and extensor muscles) are tugging on them. 

So far, I've been conducting a rigorous icing/Advil and light calf stretching routine, but if anyone out in the interwebs has any suggestions, I am all ears. 

UPDATE: on Monday night my leg/foot feels remarkably better, but it still isn't 100%. Rest, it seems, is the solution, though I've been icing, stretching and strengthening the area as well. I'll likely take tomorrow, Tuesday, and return to light training on Wednesday,



AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

"y leg meets my foot (at the top) was hurting near the end of the run and for the rest of the day. Hmmm."

I'm going to suggest anterior tibial tendonitis - it's what I had last January. The anterior tibialis is the muscle on the front of your shin that pulls your foot up. The tendon for that muscle runs to the front of your foot, and under some ligaments that hold it steady - And when that tendon gets inflamed, it rubs against those tendons.

If nothing else, I'd be sure to do a good job massaging/foam rolling that shin muscle. And maybe get in for an eval and some PT?

Chris Vames Sloane said...

I completely agree with the above poster. I am very familiar with this area, since my body is prone to this.

STRETCH YOUR CALVES. I have very tight calves and I know this is one of the reasons I am prone. Massage will help too. Tie your shoes a little looser on the foot it's irritated. This type of thing usually isn't bad, as long as you aren't overdoing it. Stay on soft surfaces if you can-that always helped me. The towpath would be an excellent place to run. Avoid too many hills too.

Chris Vames Sloane said...

Also, strengthen your tendons with a band(or spell out ABC's with your foot). Do that now so that compensation won't go to the weak areas where it actually can get bad(in front of the shin is pretty bad anterior tibialis tendonitis).

AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

Also,is the pain on impact, or when you flex your foot up against resistance? If the former, I'd be a bit concerned about a stress reaction/fracture also.

Jake said...

Just wanted to wish you the best as you go into the last couple weeks. Hope the niggles heal up. I'll be down there too... running the 1/2.

KLIM said...

Cris - the pain is when I flex my foot up, not impact.

Sloane - what types of stretches do you do? Aside from touching my toes I'm a bit ignorant of what will help.

Thanks Jake! I'm sure all will be fine in a few days.

AKA Darkwave, AKA Anarcha, AKA Cris. said...

"the pain is when I flex my foot up, not impact"

OK -that's sounding almost exactly like what I had last January. Getting the inflamation down and getting rid of the muscle knots in that shin muscle was key.

I'll also echo Chris Sloane - slightly looser shoelaces and avoiding hills are key. Going up hill aggravates it, as that's when you flex your foot the most.