My philosophy in training for the Alberta run goes something like this:
- Run lots
- Don’t get hurt
- Eat all the food
In reality, not getting hurt is the most crucial part of this whole training thing. I’ve only partially succeeded in this goal:
- Several weeks ago I developed a blister on the back of each of my heels from my xc ski boots
- I made these blisters worse by trail running on them with the wrong socks
- The blisters were lonely, so I decided to develop a second set by allowing ice to build up on the inside of my hiking boots.
- I made these blisters totally raw by post-holing along a ridge for 8 hours.
- These blisters refused to heal until Gord sent me to Kenron pharmacy, where they sold me a magical bandage called MeFix.
- The blisters are now 90% gone, but limping around for weeks has given me massive knots in my calves and rather tender Achilles tendons.
I’m an idiot because this entire cascade of events is preventable; I’m a stubborn idiot because I kept pushing through it. The stiffness in my calves/ankles caught up with me on Saturday when I attempted to run 100km on trail in Bragg Creek. My sore ankles were affecting my biomechanics, and 10km into the run I twisted my knee slightly and something pinched. It was a painful, unnatural feeling, instantly filling me with dread. I ran on for another 10km hoping the pain would subside, but it only increased. I decided to stop being a stubborn idiot and packed it in.
The next day I iced the knee a bit to try to get the swelling out, walked around the neighbourhood for about an hour, and played some casual frisbee. I also spent some time with the lacrosse ball, massaging out my giant knots. The knee felt tight, but there was no pain.
After another rest day and some quality time with the lacrosse ball, I tried a 1 hour run on the trails with my friend Kim. The knee felt fine. It seems I have dodged a bullet, but my body was giving me a warning shot. My daily routine now includes regular dates with the lacrosse ball and proper foot care to prevent further damage to my poor heels.
Some training highlights since my last post include:
- A 49km run from Bowness to Fish Creek. Including my first ever ice cream from Village!
- A 30km lack-lustre MEC race where I was reminded that there is a reason why I never race with a watch
- A 46km trail run with some speedy guys
- Fun scrambles up Limestone, Yamnuska and Burke.
Upcoming challenges include:
- Pacing the 3:45 group at the Calgary marathon
- More mountain days (because they make me happy)
- Some longer road runs in the 6-7hr range. I might try this with a 20 minute lunch break in the middle to test out my stomach.
5 weeks of training left!