Saturday, May 5, 2012

Achilles, training & back update

One thing I learned about myself this week - I am horrible to be around when I am not running.  Last Friday I had an 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:
As you all know, I have a pension for boring activities, so the 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

Miles:  19.19
Floors:  2,020
Time:  11 hours, 7 minutes

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