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. 


  1. The Husband got achilles tendonitis a couple of weeks ago, from trying to step up/start training too agressively. He's been in a lot of pain and hasn't been able to run properly since, so I would be VERY careful of your achilles. He's been icing a lot, I've had the joy of massaging his calves a LOT (!) and he's having two weeks of any real exercise at the moment. Be cautious!!!!!

  2. Had a major Achilles injury back in 2010. Be careful about coming back too soon. Being able to walk pain-free does not mean running is okay. I opted for prolotherapy ( and it worked. 5 days later I was fine.

    I'd like to run a half marathon on back to back days on a New England trip maybe next Fall. I'll shoot for GMP the first day then go all out the 2nd.

    1. I'm going to look that up now. Thanks! And I'll be interested to see how a double half goes for you.

  3. For the Princess Half Weekend, Disney just introduced a 10k on Saturday that I'm debating doing along with the that would be my first time with double race days..... I hope your achilles feels better soon and that it's nothing major!!!

  4. I have never attempted a double over a 5k distance, but I HAVE run the River Ramble! Such a crazy race! Fun and tough. Congrats on your crazy, fun and tough weekend and I hope that achilles pain goes away quickly!

    1. Are you going to run it again?! I'd love to meet you over there!

  5. I had an achilles problem on both feet several years ago when I was running faster and longer. It lasted almost a year and nothing seemed to help. Then someone told me his pt told him to do the downward dog yoga pose to stretch it out. Sounds simple but it worked! I never stopped running but I did cut back for a while. Now I am building back speed and have done a few marathons and an Ironman and so far no problems. I do the downward dog stretch almost every day.

  6. Wow you look soaked! Yes, my right achilles has bothered me on and off for a while now. I use my Tommie Copper sleeves, ice, and make sure not to do lunges. It always acts up after lunges. I also find that calf raises on the stairs helps:)

  7. That 50k looks like my sort of fun, not sure about a 10miler the day after though! But then I would like the challenge of a stage race one day, so my thoughts about back to back races better change.
    I have read somewhere that adjusting to lower drop shoes can cause achilles tendonitis/plantar fascitis problems. Hopefully it disappears soon!

  8. I've had chronic Achilles problems for years - anytime I overdo it flares up.
    I hope your's heals up quickly!!!

  9. Great picture!

    Yes, the shoes can be the culprit. My right achilles took FOREVER to get used to minimal shoes, but my left never had a problem. Your chiro should be able to help you, but it will likely keep giving you issues until you adjust.

    I love doing back to back races, but I don't do trail races, so what you did is a whole new world LOL.

  10. Lisa,
    You have not taken a break in like...forever. Your badass body is talking to you. You might not want to listen (I am in the same boat), but I'm thinking you might need to sit and hear what it has to say. I'm not a doctor, but I've been injured a XXit-load. Maybe take a break if you can handle it...I know it's hard. But, you've got so much to accomplish and plenty of time! Just my 2 cents.
    Rock on,

  11. Never had Achilles pain thank goodness! Never done a double race either! But I actually like running in the rain:) weirdo right here!!
    Thanks for the compliment on my blog design! I don't do it! I hired someone. Her name is Molly. She did such a great job! I linked to her site a couple posts back:)

  12. I've had Achilles pain, but it was a little north of the heel area. I would sit on the floor, and run it over a tennis ball, while applying pressure. Hurts so good.

    Great job on the double.

  13. I found for my achilles pain, the culprit was my tight calves. Lot of massaging has helped tremendously. And warming up well and not overdoing it.

  14. The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel.


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