Monday, September 8, 2014

Piling on the Miles

This is it.  Hitting peak training mileage, and starting to feel it.  I'm just telling myself to hold on for about 13 more days. 

Two weeks ago, I had mileage in the mid-60s, exceptionally high for me, but since it was Labor Day weekend, it wasn't "really" mid-60s mileage.  It was mid- to upper-40s week, my usual, but with a long run day switch, I added 17 miles.  So that meant the following week should have been about 17 below usual -- so maybe upper 20s?  30? -- since there was no long run. 

But I didn't work on Labor Day, which meant I had time to do things like boot camp, a 10 mile run, bleachers, and yoga (it was truly a day of laboring without pay!).  And then I threw in a race this past week on Saturday, my normal rest day -- and surprise, it put me at another week in the mid-40s. 

That gets me over 200 miles in the last 4 weeks.  Unremarkable for some, a lot for others, but a bit frightening for me. 

This blog has shown me time and again that when I do three consecutive weeks in the mid-50s, I start hurting.  As in, thinking I'm injured hurting.  I've been insanely fortunate in that it always turns out to be nothing -- a few days off, and I'm back to normal. 

But SOMEthing starts hurting.  And yep, that happened. 

I made the mistake of doing yesterday's 20 (woo-hoo, last 20!) in brand new shoes -- and I mean new.  In addition to being fresh out of the box, they are a new model of my usual favorite (trying out the Brooks Glycerine 12, after more than a year of wearing the 11s, and more than 5 years of wearing mostly Glycerine most of the time). 

And so, which is causing the pain?  The new shoes or the high (to me) mileage?

If I want to self-diagnose, I think it's an inflamed tendon on the top of my foot, right where it meets the ankle.  There are two apparent tendons there, for me, the inner and larger one is where it hurts (there are actually a bunch of tendons there, but only two readily apparent on my foot to the untrained eye).  Google makes me think it's the extensor hallucis longus or the tibialis anterior tendon.  My money is on the latter since there's no pain on the actual top of my foot, it's just at the front of my ankle. 

The good news is, it feels fine right now.

The bad news is, it hurts when it is in contact with running shoes.  (So the heels I'm wearing now are fine, pain only when I actually rub it.)

I'm going to try to ice it tonight, but we have big dinner plans with a high school friend of mine who is coming into town.  So the icing may not happen in reality. 

So maybe I'll skip the planned 8 miles for tomorrow? 

Hoping this will be totally true to form for me -- a pain that scares me about a month out, totally forgotten less than a week later -- to the point I'm not even entirely sure which foot/leg it was. 


  1. I hope you're right and it is just a short-lived niggle rather than something more! That is pretty scary ... and is a reminder of how easily we do foolish things even when we should know better (long run AND multiple long weeks AND new shoes all at once ... really?!?!) ;)

    1. I swear the shoes were a mistake. I had it on my calendar to buy them on Friday (and wear them for a 5 mile race on Saturday), but the day got away from me so I bought them after the race, and then realized I wanted to get a 20 done with them so they could go back in the box for race week. Oops.

  2. Be careful! Icing is definitely important after the run, but one thing I learned with my injury is that area also responds very well to heat because it promotes circulation. Thanks for reminding me to get new shoes!!