Monday, April 9, 2012

Highs and Lows

I've tried to sit down and write a blog post several times in t e past week but just struggled with what to say. After my 5k PR the high wore off quickly when I had several terrible training runs. Lots of leg pain that plagues me even just laying in bed at night and was preventing me from running the way I wanted to run and just bringing my overall mood down.

After some significant increases in pain and now having pain in both legs the PT has backed off the strength training and we are just now focusing on ART and stretches. What I have discovered is that my arches are collapsing (even more so than in 2010 when I first realized it and got arch supports for my running shoes). With my arches struggling my tibial tendon is working overtime and this is what is causing a great deal of my pain. With the additional collapse it became apparent that I also needed to go up another 1/2 size in my running shoes. Seriously, I just cycles these shoes in and I have to go buy yet another pair! Another thing that I noticed on my rest day (Friday) is that I spend a lot of time barefoot at home and I was in serious pain on rest day which was really bringing me down. I had to run 8 miles on Saturday and it was not going to go well if I was in pain on a rest day! What I caught myself doing while barefoot was walking on the outer edge of my feet, like I as trying to simulate my old higher arches. I have no idea why I'm doing this, it doesn't hurt to walk flat footed, but for some reason this is what I'm doing while I'm barefoot. I've been trying to correct this and trying to wear shoes more often to also help. Now that I have noticed it I'm able to correct it and feeling less strain on those tendons.

Saturday's run was not the amazingly beautiful run I had hoped for, but it was better than some of the recent runs I have had. I have been given a list of stretches to do before and after my run. Sadly I was in such a hurry to get my 8 miles in on Saturday to recover and make my swim lesson that I totally forget to do them before my run. This would probably explain why the first 2 miles of my run really sucked. It was so bad and my mental state was so fragile that at just past the mile marker when a car nearly ran me over, I actually had to fight back tears. I tried to pull myself together knowing that if I was going to cry at mile 1 the next 7 would be a total sob fest.

It was somewhere around mile 3 that I realized I wasn't feeling pain in my legs. I rejoiced and wondered how long that would actually last. I hit my turn around and felt relieved to be headed back, even if that meant there were still 4 more miles to go. I stopped at the park to refill my water bottles, it was a sunny and warm morning so I had actually gone through both bottles already. With two miles left to go I braced for the headwind and the last 3/4 of a mile that would be all uphill. At this point I was feeling fatigued and some leg pain had returned. As I waited at the light to head up my street I saw another runner heading towards me and recognized a friend whose daughter goes to school with Sydney. We chatted really quickly before I lost the opportunity to cross the street. That put a little extra spring in my step, I guess for some reason it makes you feel less lonely out there.

As I made my way up my street I began to seriously rethink having the last bit of my long runs all uphill, it really sucks the life out of you. With about .30 miles to go I saw our neighbors drive down the street who gave me a hearty cheer as they drove past, that was the last bit of motivation I needed to get me to mile 8.

I made sure to do all of my stretching in the driveway so the family wouldn't distract me from it once I got inside. I have to say, the new stretches felt really good and seemed to really make a difference. I was a good girl and took an ice bath and recovered with my ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water.

After a quick recovery I headed off to my swim lesson. I was hoping he would take it easy on me when I told him I had run 8 miles before coming over. I guess in his mind only 2 laps with the kick board was going easy on me. I'm finally starting to pull all of the things together when it comes to my stroke. ART has helped to keep my ankles not so tight, and I'm staring to really get the arm positioning. H was very pleased with my last few laps even though I was so fatigued I worked hard to try and pull it all together. I'm super glad that I decided to take lessons and that I have all summer to work on my stroke and improve my efficiency.

I only have one more lesson and I must say, I will be bummed to no longer have the hot tub and nice locker room post swim. On the bright side my pool opens up on Sunday so I will no longer have to pay for lap swim at the High School!

Next up is the Benicia Run for Education 10k!


  1. You are doing awesome!!! I'm so glad you guys are figuring out what is up with your feet and fixing it.

  2. Some times you have to take a few steps back to get around and make a breakthrough. Don't let those get you down. You're getting there!

  3. Good job pulling yourself through it, Meredith! I had a tough 8 miler last weekend, too, but I'm looking forward to my upcoming training runs :)