May 8, 2013

Double racing and achilles pain

The goal for this week is to recover from this weekend's double. I ran the Run for Kids Challenge 50K at Oak Mountain, and then I turned around and ran the Cahaba River Ramble 10-miler the next day. 

How did I feel for those runs? 

The first one was a blend of freezing in the rain and gratefulness that it was on a fairly mild course, since it turned into a 31-mile mud run. Still not even close to as bad as Mount Cheaha though. 

Source: David Christy Photography

The second race started off majorly slow. Because I was still doing the post-distance-race shuffle and all, which included a weirdy crooked drag of my right foot with every step, it was hard to get both feet pointed in the right direction and moving. About halfway through the 10 miler, something clicked with my legs, and I started being able to use them again instead of having to force them along with jedi mind tricks. 

I'll write more about each race later with the race recaps, but even though I loved them both, I absolutely, definitely felt better during the first one because I wasn't beat up. There's a three-day stage race later this year that I'd like to give a shot, so this is good practice for what that might feel like. So basically, I can look forward to feeling like crud after the first race but at the same time knowing that the legs sort of forget about that once they start moving. Then they remember quickly once they stop moving again, but there is that magical realm of we should not be doing this but we will refrain from complaining about it for a second as long as we're moving. I wish I could teach my kids that not-complaining trick.  

So back to that weirdy foot drag. The source of it is my sore right achilles that has been tender ever since the 50K on Saturday. I did yoga on Monday to try and work it out. Then on Tuesday I did a 3-mile easy run with my Life Time run club. The pain that had eased returned a little after that run. Today is a total rest day, and I'm planning an easy trail run in the morning to see how it does there. 

Part of me wonders if it's the shoes I was wearing (they are a lower drop than most of my road shoes, but not zero drop) at the 50K that are causing the pain, but it's not in both feet. So if it's just in one foot, does that cancel out shoes being the problem? I remember it being a little sore after my previous 50K too, but this time around it seems a little worse. It also seems to be lasting longer. 

After Thursday, I won't be running again until next week, so that could be a good break period for my achilles to get things back together. Plus I'm going to see my chiropractor tomorrow, and he likes to work on my feet too. Well, he may not like to, but he does it anyway. 

Have you ever had a sore achilles? What do you do to help it out? So far, I've just been stretching it whenever I can and asking my husband to massage it while he's trying to go to sleep at night. He really appreciates that. 

Do you ever attempt a double race in one weekend? Not usually, but I won an entry into the first race and got a free entry into the second race because it's an Alabama Outdoors sponsored race. So they were there for the running. Plus my brother said he would run the second one with me, making that one a must. Although when I got there and realized that you had to swim across a freezing river, I tried to backtrack to the 5K that does not include swimming across a freezing river, but my brother has this weird thing about forcing me to stick to my original plan when I make him wake up in the 5 a.m. range to do some crazy running with me. Brothers. 

Stage racing? Yay or heck nay? I say yay now, but I may say heck nay after giving it a shot this fall.