Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the Zone

3/29 run 1hr 58 mins on Company Mill and Loblolly @ Umstead in MT101 with Superfeet Green insoles (no tape!)

HR avg 149 max 184 (maybe I ran into some powerlines)

Today I went out with one goal, and that was to keep my heart rate under 75% of max for the run.  I set my watch to alarm if I got above 155, which is more like 77%, but close enough.   I did have to partially walk most hills, but the pace turned out to be faster than I expected.  I plan to use this same heart rate plan for the first 8 miles of the race.  The +1 joined me after work and we did all of Company Mill and a partial out and back on Loblolly.  The weather was basically perfect, in the mid 50's the whole time.  The real shock of the whole run is that I covered about the same distance as my last long run, but with 16 fewer beats per minute average.  Physically I feel fresh, but my knees and feet feel just as beat up as before.  I used two gels plus carried my 2 bottles. 

Our run was going well up until we finished Company Mill and headed for Loblolly, around 10 minutes in, on a gradual downhill stretch we had some folks and a dog approaching from behind while the +1 was telling me a story about her work.  I started to instinctively pick up the pace on her and she got a big 'ol helping of trail lovins.  She was behind me at the time and I heard a loud crash along with an abrupt stop to her story.  I turned just in time to see her water bottle rolling my way.  Her knees, palms and entire right arm were skinned up pretty bad, but like the super trooper she is, she wouldn't let us quit no matter how much I begged and pleaded for her to call it a day, so I could carry her back to the car and dress her wounds.... OK OK, more like, I stood there looking dumbfounded and asked her if she was ready to get going again until she finally got pissed off enough to start running.  So off she went swelling, bleeding and cursing at me the whole way.  I figured if I got her ticked off at me enough, she wouldn't have time to focus on her wounds!

This is the first long run I've done without taping my left foot in a LONG time.  I wish I had the time to change individual variables, but with the race fast approaching I had to pull out all the stops in order to heal my foot.  First, the Strassburg Sock has worked miracles on my left foot.  I didn't realize how much my left calf, arch and toes were tightening up at night in comparison to my right side.  Wearing the Strassburg Sock has given me back the flexibility I've always been missing on that side.  It has also reduced my foot pain tremendously.  I could always passively stretch both sides equally, but if I was to try to simply flex my foot and toes upward I couldn't achieve the same degree of flexion on both sides until now.  Now, I will say it's not the most comfortable thing to wear while you're sleeping.  I find it mashes the ends of my toes, in addition to the awkward foot position.

I got my Superfeet green insoles yesterday from Jason at Bull City.  They really thicken up the heel of the shoe and increase the heel-toe drop significantly, but if it allows me to run without pain and tape, then it's a step in the right direction.  My left foot never felt like it was rolling in and collapsing with the Superfeet, but I did find the added sole height made it easier for me to roll my ankles on technical sections.  The increased slope of the shoe seemed to bother the ball of my right foot and gave me some top of the foot pain on that side.  Perhaps I can figure out a way to wear only one insole...  After the run, my left foot didn't feel nearly as sore or as painful as it normally does after a long run.  Now, I wish I could say it was the sock or the insoles, but I really think it's the combination of the two.  I'm looking forward to wearing my New Balance MT10 Trail Minimus again on Thursday for speed work.  This will be a good test of where my left foot is in its road to recovery.

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