Achilles flare up that became quite uncomfortable; pain during running, pain to the touch, pain after - based on my knowledge & research, pretty congruent with Tendinosis. So I took Saturday thru Wednesday almost entirely off & loaded up on the cardio, leg strengthening & of course - PT, stretching & related exercises.
Happy to report, I've logged 3 consecutive pain free runs; with a pretty solid Saturday with 400 floors & a 13 miler in the PM. I must say overall I feel really great right now; I feel that I learned a ton about the Achilles & *hopefully* found the cause of what I believe to be not just the Achilles but perhaps the ITB issues from earlier in the year as well. I have been following Joe Uhan's pieces over on iRunFar dot com (huge fan of these, find them incredibly beneficial for ultra-runners) & he really stresses understanding the source, root or cause of injuries. Needless to say you treat the symptoms, the inflammation, what have you; but in order to really move forward & make progress through an injury it is about correcting the cause of this pain.
Of course I probably should be seeing a professional; but from what I gather, ultra-runners are great at self-diagnosing, self-treatment, etc so I suppose I fit in in that regard. I'm thankful to lean on the internet & twitter community; the information on iRunFar is a sensational resource & then there are people like @MasonHam & Meghan Hicks who have shared great personal experiences, knowledge & tactics. My key to success this week has been trying to learn as much as I can about what might be the causes & working very hard to not lose fitness, correct physiological weaknesses & correct causes for future prevention.
I've been using orthotics; my theory is that my ITB & Achilles issues have come from my under-pronating form issues. Hoping that orthotic correction will help provide better form, alignment & will alleviate stress & strain to the Achilles. I seem to feel an almost immediate benefit; the SuperFeet Premium insoles seem to be working extremely well. The other staple this week has been eccentric calf exercises; have been doing these 3x10 three times per day this week along with proper stretching.
From a workout perspective; Miwok was on the shelf due to the back (and with good reason, I'm not close to being healed yet!), but obviously my focus is Leadville & a major set-back could be detrimental. So I was entirely focused on gaining strength, keeping fitness & not losing much ground while the Achilles heals. Enter, The Stair Master:
StairMaster fits me just fine. Since Monday I have accumulated over 2,000 floors gain, and as you can see on Tuesday I set the world record (joking) by taking 465 floors in the 99 minute time allotment on the Nautilus StairMaster machine. Stairs have been a great way to continue cardiovasular fitness & get solid strength work in an effort to prepare on flat land for Hope Pass.
So below is a quick overview of what I got accomplished in the last week or so. The previous week is being called a "wash" due to the back procedure, healing, Achilles injury. Like anything else, running is about how you adapt to adversity right?
Mon >> 2:02 cardio session, 315 floors StairMaster, incline power hike @15%
Tue >> 2:00 cardio session, 400 floors SM, 2 mile light TM jog, pwr hike @15%
Wed >> 1:47 cardio session, 465 floors SM, 2 mile light TM jog
Thu >> 5.14 mile light test run @ 9:30 pace (no pain)
Fri >> #1 10.05 mile run @ 8:45 pace #2 400 floors SM
Sat >> #1 440 floors SM #2 2:00 pm, 13.11 miles @ 9:05
Sun >> TBD
Time: 11 hours, 7 minutes