Ha! Yup, leaves are changing, cooler temps feel great, and I'm definitely enjoying the weather and scenery since I'm more fit! Fall is the Midwest is fantastic! This fall in particular is off to a good start-
I had my long run yesterday, and my friend Steve (who has a hilarious blog btw), who is running Chicago next week, was awesome enough to join me for the first 8 miles of my run. I haven't run WITH anyone in long time, it was so fun to enjoy a beautiful fall run and make conversation! We started off at a clip that I was hoping to maintain as an average for the run (9:30)... but picked it up every mile and the last few we were averaging 8:45's! The best part- it felt easy-moderate. It wasn't HARD! The last few miles I did by myself I was flying, I was hitting paces I haven't seen in 3 years! The best part- it felt great, and effort/heart rate were LOW. I felt like my old runner-self :)
I don't have the thought-processes of my old-runner self though...as I was cruising through the last mile, with my leg turnover working overtime, for a split-second I *seriously* thought about shifting into a bigger gear!! I'm such a weirdo!! "You know you've been cycling a lot when..." HA!
Is anyone surprised by this turn of running events? Has my achilles injury magically healed up?? NO. Actually, it flared up and was rather annoying this week. I saw my foot doc (again) and looked at an x-ray: I have a bone spur on my heel above where the achilles tendon attaches, and the tendon goes RIGHT over it...so they rub, and subsequent irritation and pain occurs... ouch.
The solution is to surgically remove the spur... they wouldn't have to detach the tendon to do it, so recovery would "only" be 3 weeks... but I don't have time for that before my November race. As the doc put it, "You aren't going to do a whole lot of extra damage that we couldn't fix after your race... so if you want, you can train normally and run through it... as tolerated."
Wow. That's not something you hear everyday! I trust this guy though, it is what he does for a living, and he works with several semi-pro and pro sport teams... So that's the plan- for the next 7 weeks I will run through it, and take as many preventative and recovery measures as possible- i.e. continue stretching, icing, strengthening, physical therapy... and make sure that no "new pain" or injuries surface. That is maybe why I had such a fantastic run yesterday- I have a lot of underlying fitness, and I was holding it back on the run for so long b/c I KNOW BETTER than to run through injury pain... but for the next 7 weeks it looks like I will go against this better judgment!
There's not a lot of time left for training, so here are my options:
- Not run/continue holding back and not train my muscles for the movement/pounding...maybe the irritation will subside from the rest, but I'll still suck during the race b/c I won't be fit enough for it. Maybe cycling fitness will transfer over, but I don't think it will be enough to reach my goals for the marathon portion.
- Run through it...and either I'll be injured (and still suck, compared to above) or maybe I'll have the fitness and pain tolerance to push through the race... then fix the problem this winter lol.
I would NOT recommend this to anyone, especially if you are training for your first endurance event. I realize this is a bad idea, but it's lose-lose situation. There's a likely chance that it can backfire, it's a risk I'm taking and I'll keep you updated. I wish I would have seen a doc/ gotten treatment sooner when this started acting up in late May this year. Please people, take care of injuries as soon as you think you might have one.
Now it's time to get ready to hammer out a brick workout!! Hope you all enjoy this lovely fall weather!