Its been a tough couple of weeks running wise, I am trying to get adjusted to running outside and I missed another of my long runs last week (I ran 13 miles instead of the 16 I was supposed to). This week I didn’t make it out for my two shorter runs because I was too tired to do it (And I have found that is when I tend to get hurt).
However, I feel that I made it back on track all in one run today, today was a 17 mile run, the furthest I have gone before today was 15 miles, and I didn’t do so well with that run. However today went very well, this was also my first long run I have done outdoors, my longest run outside before today was 8 miles, and that was the run that triggered my bout of Peroneal Tendonitis (http://www.kd8itx.com/blog/2011/03/marathon-update-ouch-peroneal-tendonitis/). I decided to just go for it today and try a really long run outside because I couldn’t face spending 3 hours running at the gym and probably having a really awful movie on.
While I was out a couple weeks ago scouting places to take my wild edibles group, I found out that I could string together trails at three different parks here along with a few miles of running through some nice neighborhoods, I decided to give that one a run today, it turns out the route is 6 miles each way which is a great distance. I get to run along two different trails that are along lake Erie and about 2 miles of trails going through the woods.
Having a long trail that goes through very interesting areas made all the difference in the world, running back and forth on a boring route makes it really easy to decide that you are going to cut things short, but with the longer run, you have the knowledge that you are upwards to 6 miles away from your car and that the fastest way back is to run :-). The miles were pretty easy up until about mile 13-14 where my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back hurt. Though I realized pretty quickly that it actually hurt more to walk than to run, so on I pushed.
Going through the woods there was a ton of mud, there were fairly long stretches I had to walk, but the walking was every bit as challenging as running as they were really slick. I ended up running over several roots that hit my arches well I ran and I found out that was about the most pain I have ever felt in my feet (The roots were under leaves so you couldn’t even see them, evil!). However even with the mud and the pain from the roots, it was well worth running through that section of woods because it was such an interesting trail.
I am still going to physical therapy, I am going every other week. The girl I am working with there has been working on getting me more flexible, and most importantly working the knots out of my calves. There is a very noticeable difference in my runs before and after I go to physical therapy.
So there you have it, it turns out I can run 17 miles, and I am feeling much better about my marathon to know that I am back on schedule, these distances are hard, but that is expected. We will see how I feel tomorrow though (The day after a long run tends to be brutal).