Wow, is it seriously June already?? Where is this year going??
Last week was a mixed bag for running. Our group track session was cancelled due to thunderstorms and it just kinda threw off my entire week. I still had a pretty good week, though.
Typically I have a total rest day on Fridays, but last week the beast just desperately needed a walk – she was pacing around the house non-stop and was just getting antsy. Husband has been working again lately, which is great, but the beast isn’t getting walked as much a she’s used to. So I took her out on a toasty day, right in the middle of the day, hoping for maximum pup exhaustion. We ran about a mile or so of the 5.5 miles we covered, which she’s not used to (not to mention I’m not used to running holding a leash). It was the beginning to an absolutely gorgeous weekend.
Saturday was another perfect day, so I headed over to the reservoir for another hilly long run. My goal was 4.5 miles for the day. I managed to run non-stop up the first hill, 1.6 miles, back down the other side to 2.5 miles only taking a small walk break at the top to catch my breath after cresting that hill. On the return trip I took two small walk breaks, but ran almost the last 2 miles non-stop, including cresting the hill and continuing without stopping. I was feeling amazing after that. When I got to 4.5 miles, I saw a trashcan a ways up and decided to keep running to that. I ended up finishing the day with 4.65 miles and an average pace of 11:26 per mile – 5 seconds per mile faster than my 4 miler last weekend 😀 woohoo!
Unfortunately, I did something on my run that has brought back some discomfort in the area of the soleus, where I’ve had posterior shin splints and tendinitis in the past. I’ve been heating and foam rolling/using the stick as well as icing it, hoping for the best.
Just a few weeks ago, runningshoesguru.com came out with a primmer on posterior tibialis pain and how to stretch and strengthen it. The stretch he demonstrates is painfully simple, but no one I’ve spoken with over the years has known about it. The soleus, which is where most of the pain generally presents, is annoyingly difficult to stretch – but with a modified Achilles stretch, it’s possible to actually reach it in a way that hurts oh so good. If you’ve ever had any tightness or tenderness in this area, I highly recommend bookmarking this article.
Despite the rough-ish long run, I finished out May with over 58 miles! This was my first month over 50 miles AND the first time I’ve made it through the spring injury free. This gives me a great deal of hope moving into the summer, hope that I desperately need after last year.
This week was also big because I retired my first pair of Brooks PureCadence shoes, my signature pink running shoes. The last couple times I’ve run in this pair I’ve ended up with achey Achilles. Combined with the fact that I’ve had them for nearly two years, even though I’ve been rotating shoes, it was time to move on. I still have two more pair of these pink shoes, one of which is quickly coming up on retirement as well. I’m going to be getting a new pair of the PureCadences soon so I can begin rotating them in before I get deep into summer training.
Next week’s long run is going to be a nice, flat 5 miles, which that should help alleviate some of the discomfort. I think it was just the repeated stress from the downhills that aggravated the area a bit. I need to learn to handle the downhills, so I’m glad I did it, regardless. I’m annoyed, but not concerned. The best part about having the Army Ten Miler as my fall target race is that once I get through the Dreaded Druid Hills at the end of this month, most of my training runs are going to be flat. I’ll miss the challenge of mandatory hill runs, but I think I’ll enjoy just running.