June 16, 2012

Oh yeah!

I'd forgotten what it was like to be sore from a workout, but not in pain.

I don't know if it was the yoga I did Wednesday (and will do again today) or the massage Thursday. What I do know is I went to the park again yesterday and ran another 5 miles. Last night I was stiff and sore from running more in the past week than I've run in any week since mid-April. Also NOTHING HURTS! I can't remember the last time I didn't have a twinge or a pain or something just wrong. Muscle fatigue and soreness I can deal with. It tells me I'm growing, and I kind of expect to live the rest of my life feeling that way every day. It's when the knee and the back and the shoulder and the hip and the groin get out of wack that I get frustrated.

Yesterday's run was far more difficult than Thursday's. Understandable, in that I ran farther Thursday than I've run in any single day since the middle of March. My legs were tired, but not completely beat up and useless. I guess the biking I've been doing has kept them in some form of shape.

I wanted to check out the path that appeared to be uphill and completely sunlit, the opposite direction from the one I took Thursday. Turns out I was wrong on both the uphill and the sunlit bit. I'm still trying to decide which path is more challenging. I already know I'm partial to the direction I ran Thursday.

This the best representation of the entire path. It does not simply go uphill one way, resulting in a downhill return trip. It undulates, up and over freeway crossings and other roads. The highest elevation gain was about 200 ft. Apparently the majority of shade hits the path in the afternoon, which is good to know.

I do have to say, I didn't see anything like this going the other direction:

I passed this sign just before my alarm went off, telling me I'd run half and hour and it was time to turn around. I was very happy to hear the alarm, as I was having difficulty convincing myself to continue much farther. I knew I was already tired, and did not want to find myself at the bottom of a hill I could not climb back up.

Did I forget to mention there was a 20 degrees difference in temperature between Thursday and yesterday? I didn't realize this when I left my nice, shaded, not-air-conditioned-but-cool house. The car read 79 degrees, which seemed reasonable. When I got to the park it read 87 degrees. The weird thing is, I didn't feel overheated. There was a nice breeze, and enough shade to keep me relatively comfortable. You can see it in my pace, however. That and the tired legs from the previous day.

My return trip was a challenge. In addition to the undulating hills, my shoes were giving me trouble. I bought a pair of Hoka One One's a few months back, in the hopes they would help me run more miles with fewer injuries. They have the same 4mm heel drop as my Kinvara's, but are built up on about 2 inches of foam. The idea is they cushion and absorb the pounding on knees and other joints.

Yesterday marks the third time I've tried to run in this particular pair of shoes. I've only put in about 10 miles on them, because my toes start getting uncomfortably tingly at about the 3 mile mark. I tried loosening the laces, since I've had shoes restrict circulation before. I tried tightening the laces. Neither worked. I thought maybe it had to do with muscle building, since the shoe gives a bit every time I push off. My feet are not sore today though, as they would be if I were building muscle. The problem may be that the shoes are too large. They are the same size as my Kinvara's, but there is a full thumb-width of space between my toe and the end of the toe box.

I just now called the place I bought them, to see if there is some way I can still use this shoe. It's beyond the 30 day no-hassle return window, but I may still be able to replace them with a smaller size. I left a message, and we'll see what they say.

So my return run was riddled with shoe lace tightening and loosening. I ultimately stopped and took my socks off, thinking they were pulling against my toes. This has happened in other shoes, but not for a long time. It didn't appear to resolve the issue. The undulating path, and the heat, didn't help. I walked. A lot.

Funny thing is, I wasn't miserable. My feet were uncomfortable. My body was tired. I still worked out how I would return to run the path again the next day (today). If I couldn't run in the Hoka's, I would run a few miles on the side of the path in the Merrell trail gloves. I've not run in the zero heel drop shoes since shortly after I got them, but I've been walking around in them a bit lately and thinking about running in them.

Funny also how I was uncomfortable with the idea of running in an industrial area, but not 10 minutes away I'm perfectly fine running on a path next to a practically deserted road.

My surroundings may have had something to do with my attitude. I think a lack of pressure also helped. I have no time goals, though I'm interested to see how fast I run. I have no set training plan. Just get out and run. If I walk, I walk. Distance doesn't even really matter, though I'm hoping to get to 10 miles per day at some point. For now, I just run.

I decided not to go back out and run today. Saturday and Sunday will be my cross-training slash rest days. Today (as soon as I post this) I am going to do some yoga and some core work. I like this lack of pain thing.

Monday I run, then work, then run. No yoga at lunch since they said they would feed us. I'll let you know how it goes.

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