Showing posts with label Achilles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Achilles. Show all posts

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A return to the Hattori's

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

Super minimalist ninja
Hattori Hanz┼Ź was a famous ninja and samurai who lived in 16th century Japan. I'm guessing that his sword skills were the inspiration behind Saucony's Hattori super minimalist running shoes. I've put about 250 miles on mine since I've got them and I've come to love their purposeful simplicity.

For the last three weeks I've been running in either my Saucony Mirages or Brooks GTS-10's in an attempt to clear up a minor pain I've had near my right Achilles. I figured that the greater cushioning and stability control on these shoes (compared to the Hattori's) would help my healing. It  must not be the shoes because the pain remains, although it always goes away after a few minutes of running.

Since Sunday is race day, I thought I'd end my taper with a run in the Hattori's. It's a different experience going back to a shoe 1/3 the weight of the Brooks. I worried that my layoff from these shoes would cause me some calf pain when I returned to them, but I had no problems today. I ran okay but I'm nowhere near my late September peak. I think the Hattori's provided some benefit over the heavier shoes this morning since I ran 30 seconds per mile faster than yesterday. However, that pace was still far off my target for the 10K. I guess I should reset my expectations for this race and defer my focus on performance until the following weekend when I run the Long Beach Turkey Trot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What is it about Fridays?

Today's run (street): 2.25

It has been a busy week and I thought "TGIF" when I went out for this morning's run. However, within five minutes, I knew that I was in for a bad Friday run for the second week in a row. I'm guessing that I'm fatigued from three days of intense discussions, presentations and other stressful factors. I don't care that much about having a bad run, but I do like to know why I ran badly.

I've switched over from my Hattori's to my Saucony Mirages since the Oyster Bay 5K in hopes of eliminating the slight, but nagging, pain I get between my right heel and Achilles. I figured that the stability post on the Mirage might help that somewhat. When I went out today, the pain was there and it was fairly pronounced. As usual, the pain subsided once I'd traveled about a mile.

It's hard to understand exactly what made today's run bad. I had no obvious issues (besides the heel pain), but I couldn't generate much speed. I cut my distance short because I wanted to use the extra few minutes to rest before my shower. I really need to be on my game this weekend and get some base miles in since I haven't done too many 5+ mile runs lately and I have a fast 6.2 scheduled on November 13. I'm hoping that my Friday curse won't extend to Saturday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hurtin' Hattori's

Along with the damage to my Hattori's toe box yesterday, that probably came as a result of so much downhill running during the race, I also managed to aggravate my right Achilles to the point of great discomfort. This injury has been a long time coming. I started to notice some pain at the back of that foot (just above the heel) some weeks ago, but it never became worse than an uncomfortable distraction. It wasn't too bad after the race yesterday, but later in the day I felt some sharp pains as I walked around.

I don't know why this problem developed. If it is the Hattori's, I'd think the injury would have happened on both Achilles tendons. But running related injuries never seem to occur symmetrically. It could be a combination of the shoe and the way I run. I've been icing the area and taking Aleve since last night, and that combination has helped a lot.

I considered doing an easy run today, just to get outside, but I decided that might do more harm than good. A slow, easy recovery run wouldn't help my conditioning and it would definitely put more strain on the Achilles. I'm probably going to do most of my running in the Mirages over the next two weeks to see if that helps the problem. I love the Hattori's but they may be getting to the end of their usefulness. I have another pair of Hattori's that I can start to use once my Achilles feels better. When I do, I'll know to replace them soon after I reach 200 miles.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Perceived effort high plus "impossible" obstacles

Today's run (street): 4 miles

More ow, than ouch!
I've been fortunate to avoid injuries that prevent my running, but lately I've experienced some painful tweaks in my knee, shin and Achilles tendon. These tweaks are mild and happily intermittent, but they make me wonder what's behind them. I was reading an article on Runblogger (a very nice running site) about Achilles problems and, while I don't think I have "Hagland's structure", I wondered if running in the Hattori's is creating my Achilles issue. I began to think about running in a different shoe.

At the recent Dirty Sock 10K run, Paul mentioned that he trains in heavier cushioned shoes and races in lighter shoes. Right now he's running in Saucony Mirages, a shoe I occasionally use for training and racing. The Mirage is a luxury ride compared to the Hattori's, but it's still low and relatively flat. I decided to dust off my Brooks GTS 10's, a terrific shoe that I'd shelved for running due to their built-up platform.

Chicken soup for the foot
I went out purposely slow on this humid morning and intended to keep it that way. I know that an easy run should follow a hard run and yesterday's speed work was just that. The Brooks felt really good and I cruised along for a couple of miles but picked up the pace after the second mile. By the time I reached 3.25 miles I was feeling a little fatigued. I thought about the idea of running to perceived effort versus a time goal. Over the next quarter mile I perceived plenty of effort as I approached the hilliest part of my route.

When I crested the highest section I took off fast and finished my run breathing hard and sweating heavily. I knew I'd probably pushed too hard and possibly invited further injury. My Achilles felt slightly sore and my right knee felt tender. But overall, I think I'm okay. My perceived effort certainly exceeded my performance metrics, but so what? As long as my injuries got no worse and my training advanced, I feel that I'm going in the right direction.

We're getting close to the end of summer so, today, the Emerging Runner family held our "Impossible Obstacle Course" in the backyard. Due to the effects of hurricane Irene that landed lots of branches and leaves in the pool, we didn't include a swimming portion. The event consisted of activities like soccer ball dribbling, basketball shooting, hockey stick bowling (don't ask), a lacrosse throw and some running.  It was a nice second workout and we all had fun. Best of all, my knee and Achilles felt fine, both during and after.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Achilles scare

8K race = 4.97 miles
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

With this morning's run I ended my taper for Sunday's New Hyde Park 8K. This race, that I'll be running for the third time, represents an interesting challenge. In 2009 and 2010 I finished with exactly the same clock time despite running two very different races. The 2009 race was extremely difficult for me because I went out hard from the start and paid for it later. Last year I went out at a moderate pace and tried to maintain a steady speed throughout the run. In the end it worked out the same although it was far more enjoyable to run steady than to almost flame out at the 35 minute mark as I did in 2009.

I decided to follow my typical route this morning and my run was fine but, at the start, I had a slight feeling of soreness from my Achilles. This made me concerned that I was not quite ready for daily runs in the Hattori's. I kept my pace moderate and hoped that when the tendon warmed up the pain would disappear and that's pretty much what happened. I have no residual soreness as a result and it could have simply been one of those early morning aches and pains I get due to my sleep position.

Now it's time to rest. I'm always tempted to run after I've finished my taper and I'll miss my lunchtime run in Central Park tomorrow. I may indulge in an easy bike ride on Saturday but I won't push it any further than that. I'd like to beat my previous time for this race but I may not be able to do that. I'll be satisfied with my time no matter what, as long as I did the best that I could.
 

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