RunLog – Thursday – May 13, 2021

Planned Workout Description: 

Do an easy 1-mile run to warm up and to see how the Achilles is progressing today. If the Achilles isn’t too grumpy, do 10 x 2:00 minutes running, with 2:00 minutes walking, with a 5:00 minute walking cool-down—easy effort level on the run portions.

Warm-up: My minimum warm-up is the leg swing routine x 20, 40 air squats, 100-ups before running, and the first few minutes of the run will either be a walk or easy running, depending on the distance I have planned.

Course:  #1 – Philbrick/Howard Lap / #2 Philbrick/Howard Course

Weather: Clear sky, 62°F, Feels like 54°F, Humidity 36%, Wind 9mph from NNE 

Distance: #1 – 1.01 / #2 – 3.64

Duration: #1 – 9:11 / #2 – 45:16

Power: #1 – 225 / #2 – 152

Running Streak Day #: 4

What actually happened: 

The first part was an easy run to see how the Achilles felt after yesterday’s run. I did 1.0 mile at what felt like an easy effort and felt really good. It was also the first time in ASICS Magic Speeds, and I will talk more about them in the running shoe section. 

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The second part of the run was 10 times 2:00 minutes running, with 2:00 minute walking recovery, with 5:00 minute cool-down walk at the end. 

The first 6 repeats were no problem, but beginning on that recovery repeat walk, the Achilles complained a little. Surprisingly, it felt better when doing the running repeats than the walking ones. 

However, when I got up where the old VW van is in the field, Raymond (the dog) jumped out of the woods and glared at me. He didn’t come at me and didn’t bark like he wanted a piece of me, but I also ended my run repeat a lot sooner than the 2:00 minutes that I had planned. He has bitten me before and chases me when I run, so I walked and hollered at him a few times to go home. 

Raymond didn’t go home, but he did follow me up the road, so I walked until Nick called him, and things were fine. We talked for a minute, laughed a little at how much better he was acting this time. Raymond had his collar on but went through the invisible fence when they weren’t looking.  

When a young Lab gets it in their head to go, a little shock doesn’t slow them up too much. Stuff like this is simply one of those pain in the butt things that happen in the neighborhood. At least this time, Raymond wasn’t barking his head off, being all aggressive at me. That is when it bothers me a bit more. 

I finished up the subsequent 2 run repeats and did my cool-down. I did work pretty hard in a couple of spots but felt good. However, I am glad that tomorrow is a recovery day. It will either be a quick 10-minute easy run to get the body moving or a full day off, depending upon how much the Achilles is complaining.

Other Stuff

I did re-read the articles from yesterday and, as a result, decided to do an actual return to running training plan. It doesn’t get me back to running as soon as I would like, but after re-reading those articles, it is a more thoughtful plan than me winging it day-by-day and risking doing my usual “do too much, too soon, get reinjured because I am being stoopid routine.” 

Using the information I learned today and knowing me a little, it looks like if everything goes semi according to plan, I could be back to running the way I want by the end of June. As long as I am not too stoopid and remain patient.

Reading

I am reading Make the Leap by Ryan Green and am almost finished – about 5-10 pages left. I got the workbook in this afternoon and will be looking at it after I finish the book. 

Online articles:

Vary in your training – The Secret of Running With Power Blog

The Positive Split – Peter Bromka

I also read 4 of the old Make the Leap newsletters, and there is so much information between the book or newsletters that I need some time to wrap my head around everything. In this instance, I think that it is an excellent problem to have.

Variables that impacted the run:

Injuries/Niggles: I am still nursing that left Achilles tendon issue but making slow progress. 

This morning after the run, I attempted to do an unsupported single-leg calf raise with my left foot, and nothing happened. There seems to be some kind of communication issue between the brain and the muscles to that leg. I can do it with difficulty (the Achilles and lower left leg muscles are weak) when holding on to something, but when I gave the command to raise up onto my left toes unsupported, the foot just stayed on the floor. 

I knew that the left leg has been weak since 2013 when I had the last bad episode with that Achilles, but I didn’t realize how weak the leg was getting and reliant on other body parts to compensate for it. 

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, and seeing how weak my left leg really was, it was just a question of time before having problems with my left Achilles/foot/ankle area. This means that I have LOT of work to do strengthening that leg and retraining to have it activate properly, so it can do a single leg calf raise unsupported.

Shoes: ASICS Magic Speed (4.65) – My first run in the Magic Speeds, and I came away very impressed. No issues with the running shoes. Yeah, I know, I said that I wasn’t going to run in them until June. Well, I couldn’t help myself they were sitting on the dresser looking all sad and lonely, just asking to be used. It was a beautiful Spring morning and I figured that it wouldn’t hurt a bit to get them out to see how they fit and felt on the road.

I can see these becoming a favorite running shoe very quickly and ones that I will run quite nicely in. The toe spring doesn’t bother me and the heel feels a little softer than my other ASICS shoes, which I like in this shoe. It just strikes me as being a little odd that the EvoRide (more of a trainer) is lighter and firmer and the Magic Speed (more of a go faster shoe) is heavier and softer. Crazy times in the running shoe world, but great for runners and with all the choices we now have, we should be able to find multiple styles, brands and models that can work great for us, if are willing to experiment a little.

They are size 8.5, which is a half-size up for me, and fit the way I want them. Excellent heel hold and enough room in the toe box that if I had to wear them tomorrow for a half marathon, I wouldn’t hesitate. They would probably work beyond that distance as well.

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Although I could see with the toe taper to the end of the foot if I had gotten true-to-size that they would be a bit snug upfront. In a smaller size, the Magic Speed would work for a 5k-10k distance for me, but not much further. I took them down back on the gravel road and had zero issues with traction or problems with small rocks (the carbon plate works well as a rock guard). I admit that I love the colorway; bright orange and black are noticeable…err Harold colors.

After run – Strength Work:

· Sledgehammering tire – 100

· Step hip lunges 2×20

· Eccentric Calf Drops – 9 ×15

· Calf Raises – 3×15

· Band leg raises – 1×10 hold for 5 count

· Iced Achilles 1×20 minutes

Then this afternoon, I had to drive SD1 and SD2 up to get their second COVID-19 shots. After a bit of a cluster, everything worked out, and they are now fully vaccinated. Yeah!

However, with the challenging workout this morning, the stress of the hour drive, and everything else this afternoon, I made a conscious choice to take the night off from mobilization and balance work. I wasn’t going to give it the quality focus that I want when I do them, and that is when I cause problems for myself, so it is sometimes better to skip a session than do something because I am tired and in a hurry.

Overall, it was still a good day, but I have to admit I am rather looking forward to a recovery day tomorrow. Although we do have the carpenters coming to start the work that needs to be done this year.

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