Yesterday I went to City Sports and bought enough cold weather clothing to get me through Decemeber, some of which can be seen here. There are only so many pairs of running tights I have the courage to purchase at one time.
I won’t be so bold as to say ‘I’m back’ the way I arrogantly declared last week. But, I have been running. I ran around a mile and half on Tuesday and then logged another three miles on Thursday. I’m slowly building my mileage back up to-my pre-Achilles days. Running on both of these days I felt far from 100%. In fact I’ve never really been good at gauging percentages when it comes to my body. In track drills we were asked to only run at 80% effort. I could never really tell what 80% was compared to 90% and 90% seemed pretty close to 100%. However, if I were to put a percentage on how I feel these days, I would say 70%. My form isn’t natural. In order to lessen the stress on my tendon, I’m back to running more heel/toe. Any attempt to run on my forefoot just doesn’t come together – the stride on my right foot is shorter than my left, so I give the appearance of limping while I run and it gets close to hurting. Running heel/toe I can only describe the sensation as mild discomfort, more annoying than anything else. When I wake up in the morning my ankle is stiff, but not painful. I fortunately will be running with RFR tomorrow for our first training run, which I’ve been looking forward to. I will only be running five miles because I don’t want to push it. Should my tendon start to hurt at all during the run, I’m backing off, no sense in taking these risks this early in the season.
With that being said, I believe I figured out how my Achilles failed me. Running with a forefoot strike, your calves work overtime. After every run my calves would always feel like they were on fire, I just took this as a sign of a good workout. However, on the particular run I went on, I believe by calves fatigued, causing an undue amount of stress to be transferred to my Achilles as my form deteriorated. This is a combination of everything I mentioned earlier. It was the massive increase in mileage coupled with switching to minimalist shoes inevitably causing the deterioration of my form. Bam! Perfect storm, the Rube Goldberg that is my body fell apart. Last weekend my friends and I had Tom Hanksgiving, where we ate leftovers and watched Tom Hanks movies (a damn good way to spend a Saturday, if you ask me). In Apollo 13, right after liftoff one of engines fails. Tom Hanks’ character (Jim Lovell) remarks that they just had their one glitch for the mission…I’m not going to declare that this is the one glitch in the mission to run the Boston Marathon and jinx everything – though, I’m really hoping I don’t have a “Houston, we have a problem” moment.
And I bet you thought this post was going to be about food! I did, however, go to the new Petit Robert in Brighton last night. I think I may have actually found someplace in Allston/Brighton that I can frequent without fear of muggings or stabbings. If you want to grab a funky French or Canadian beer after a run sometime, let me know, and I’ll meet you there.
Song Stuck in my Head — Punching in a Dream — The Naked and Famous (this is the second song this week that I’ve had stuck in my head that’s apparently featured in FIFA ’12 — strange coincidence as I’ve never played it before)