29 March 2012

Oops, I Did It Again

I knew Sunday morning, as I was trotting along at a good clip during the second half of a 20 miler, that I was tempting my body toward rebellion.  I would hit 78 miles in one week at the end of the run, more than I had ever run in one week and 20 more than I had accumulated in one week since September of 2010, during which I logged a 72-mile week.

In my defense, I did not plan things this way.  My son was born on the previous Sunday, which forced me to run long on the next Monday--23 miles--to make up for the Sunday run I missed.  So my 20 miler was just me getting my running back on schedule, even though it was putting me in a position to log such high mileage in one seven-day period.  What I should have also considered, though, is that during the previous two or three weeks I had been putting in a lot of quality miles and getting few good hours of sleep.  (My wife was on doctor-ordered bed rest for two weeks before our son was born, and we have two daughters who need to eat and to wear clean clothes.)

Last Saturday I had planned on only running 16 easy miles on Sunday, not 20.  I had considered my body's condition and what I had been asking of it.  By Saturday night, however, I had convinced myself that I could run 20 easy and be okay--it just worked better with my overall schedule.  And then on Sunday, The Jewish Stallion took off, and I chased, and while I caught The Jewish Stallion, I also failed to train the way I know I should have trained, the way I explained we all should train in my post from last Friday.

Now I'm hurt.  I have what I believe is Achilles tendonitis, although the pain is much higher up on the Achilles than it was the last time I dealt with this.  I feel the most pain at the top of the tendon, not down in the middle of the Achilles around my ankle bone.

Although I have been dealing with some tightness/soreness in my Achilles tendon for a while, I had been able to keep anything bad at bay by performing eccentric strength exercises for my calves.  Unfortunately, I was not consistent with these and had not been doing them during the last week or so.  Yesterday, I felt the pain develop more intensely in the middle of a planned 80-minute run.  I cut the run short, only an hour, and made sure to do my eccentric strength training and ice.  I was able to run five easy miles today without as much discomfort as yesterday, and I have performed my calf exercises and iced twice today.  (An article detailing the exercises I am doing can be found here.  If you have Achilles tendonitis, these are a must do.)  I just took my son for a walk and while I did feel some tightness and soreness in my Achilles, it does feel better now than it did last night.

Tomorrow, I should probably take the day off.  I should ride the bike instead of run.  This is what I should do, and I hope I am finally smart enough to listen to myself.

I had a personal training client hear me tell a friend about my current situation.  She asked me, "If you can't take care of yourself, how can I expect you to take care of me?"  It was a fair question, but I assured her that I take much better care of my clients than I do myself.  I am willing to take risks with my own body that I would never want my clients to take with theirs.  Why don't I take my own advice? Why am I so stubborn?  And why haven't I learned my lesson?  This isn't the first time I trained stupidly.

I just need to remember how important getting to the starting line in Prague is.  Prague is first about sharing an experience with my training partners and second about running a PR.


I want to offer congratulations to a friend who ran successfully today.  She is currently training for her first marathon and has had a habit of going out too hard in races, which can cause just a few problems in a marathon, so I've been telling her to focus on running negative splits during all of her runs to get her body used to the idea of going out easier and having something left at the end.  I had especially wanted her to run this way during her final long run--a 20 miler--today.  Shortly after completing her run, she sent me the following text message, "Last five miles faster than the first fifteen (and through the  dunes).  Thanks coach."

Wonderful work here.


  1. I didn't have a chance to comment on yesterday's post - the one where you slagged off cycling. I knew you'd do it eventually. :-) One thing I don't miss about my hardcore running days is the constant worry about injuries. One day it's PF. The next week it's the Achilles tendon. Next the hip. Back to PF. It's all runners talk about when they have nothing to say about spits,etc. I can't remember the last time I suffered a cycling injury.

  2. It might be said that I should worry about injuries more than I do. I tend still to believe I'm running in a body in its twenties.