Thursday, March 5, 2009

Still running...

Well, I've had some ups and downs since my last post. I've been running 2-3 miles in my Newtons every other day since then (with the exception of last night, which I'll get to). My feet still hurt. Unfortunately, when they started to feel better I stopped taking care of them quite as fastidiously, or maybe it's the continued running that's aggravating the plantar fasciitis. Essentially, anything I do that tightens my calves will aggravate my feet, so I have a renewed focus on stretching copiously and often.

As for the Newtons... my calves got used to running in them after 10 days or so. They occasionally hurt the balls of my feet if I don't have my foot positioned in them just right. Increasing my running cadence enough to forefoot strike (which the Newtons essentially require) is hard. I've been running around my neighborhood, and had a terrible run Monday night, in which I ran as fast as I could and barely broke 8 min/mile pace. I was pretty frustrated.

...which leads to last night. I went to track practice for the first time in awhile, and started out running pretty conservatively. I eventually got annoyed with not being the fastest person there, and did a couple of miles running fast (or what passes for fast for me these days). I did my first mile repeat at a 7:10 pace, and then ran my next two at 6:40. I'm not sure that I could hold that pace for a 10k at this point, but it felt good, my feet felt fine, and most of all, it was exhilarating! This was my longest run in a couple of months: 5 miles. It's been so tough and mentally taxing for the last couple of months having to rein myself in and to hold a constant awareness of my pain levels, and letting go was just fun. I can't wait for next week!

So, I'm going to start ramping up my mileage (still stretching like a fool in hopes of getting rid of this foot pain), with a focus on increasing my turnover rate (my cadence is around 160 strides/min, and needs to be around 180) to become more of a forefoot striker (and to improve my efficiency). To that end, today I ordered an accessory footpod for my Garmin that will give me my running cadence in real time (it's really hard to count steps for any length of time).

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