I’m not going to lie, it’s been rough running for the past few weeks.
Moving has thrown my schedule and my sense of home, as well as literally throwing my back. I tried my best to recover in the week leading up to the race in Pacifica, but wasn’t feeling my best on race day. Despite it though, I had a great day and ran well.
Then my Achilles started acting up. I had felt it after my long trailrun in Marin a few weeks prior, but brushed it off. My going theory is now that I’ve made the transition to a more minimalist shoe for roads, my thick trail running shoes are fighting against my new gate, aggravating my old ailment. Perhaps that’s true – or perhaps I ramped up to 150 miles a month too quickly.
Either way, a combination of the sore back, inflamed Achilles and a raw toe made me a mound of hurt the day after the race. And I usually brag about how after hard trail runs, I barely feel them.
So I had no choice but to take it easy in the week after Pacifica. Which was OK because I was still all over the place from the move and work was equally crazy. But I was heading to New York at the end of the week and had visions of epic city runs and gliding through Central Park in the sticky summer heat. I had even considered reaching out to an old high school friend and connecting with her Brooklyn-based running group to look for a bit of competitive camaraderie in the concrete jungle.
I limped my way through New York. Maura and I dropped our bags in the city after our redeye and immediately hit the park. I wanted my leg to feel OK. I willed it to stop complaining. But even the sweltering heat and humidity couldn’t shake it out. We were only going for three miles, but I cut it off right at three because the pain pushed past where I know it to be OK.
I know you’re not supposed to run through Achilles problems, but I also have enough experience with them to know that 100% rest won’t solve it either. You need to ease back into it, pushing through just enough pain to relieve whatever the problem is, without aggravating it (or so my crackpot theory goes).
Three miles haven’t been that sweaty (the head index topped 100) and painful in a long, long time.