I guess I'm pretty lucky. After developing plantar fasciitis a few weeks ago, then trying to deal with it aggressively while taking a week off from running I was supposed to be careful not to return to running too aggressively. But after Saturday's 11.5 mile run I was feeling great so I decided to join Emma on her long run. I guess I shouldn't call it just her run since Jim was also part of concocting the plan for the day.
On Sunday Emma and I met Jim, Ryan and Blaine at Bradbury and started with a loop of the upcoming Fat Ass course. Conditions were pretty good, the snow was firm and there was only a little ice, of course this was on the steepest climb of the route but it was easy enough to get around.
We then headed out for 6 miles on the Snowmobile Trail out of the park. We hit the power lines, turned right and ran out until we "reached the top of the nearest hill AFTER 10 miles" and then turned around to run back the way we came.
As is the case with most of our runs this time of year the snow is nice and firm at 8 am but it doesn't take long for things to warm up and the snow gets softer and more difficult to run in.
Although I was aware of some tightness in my hamstrings and anchilles everything seemed to be working fine and my energy level was good.
We returned to the park having completed a little more than 16 miles (except for Blaine who had started at 7am and got in a few more miles already) and per Jim's plan headed out for another loop of the Fat Ass course (except for Blaine who was done). There was a lot of blame going around as we tried to figure out who was responsible for this sinister plan, I think Jim and Emma were equally at fault, I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with me. Anyway, this second lap was much more difficult than the first. By now it was a lot warmer and the snow was incredibly soft. I felt like I was spinning my wheels on all the uphills, and on the downs I was sinking in a lot. It's all good prep for the Fat Ass, I hope conditions improve over the next week because 8 laps of this course could be hell if they don't.
distance: 20.57 miles
weather: 24-46 degrees, sunny and calm
conditions: firm packed snow, progressively getting softer
gear: inov-8 Roclite 315 with screws, wool socks, short tights, t-shirt, long sleeve top, thin gloves, buff, Nathan HPL 20
Monday I took a much needed day off from running and could feel the PF flaring up. Stretching seems to work the best for dealing with the pain but I've also been icing (thanks for the advice Jamie). At lunch I walked down to the Maine Running Company and picked up a Strassburg Sock. I had been trying to make my own version of the sock but couldn't come up with anything that struck the right balance of comfort and getting the right stretch so I went for the real deal. Even though I feel like I'm recovering from the PF I'm still running and don't want to let up on the treatment until its completely gone.
The sock really helped, at least on the one foot I was using it on and when I woke up early Tuesday morning I was feeling good. I left the house at about 5:15 and ran down to Back Cove to meet Jim for our annual St. Patrick's Day tradition of running to Ri Ra for a pint of Guinness. There was a crowd of about 15 people assembled and we casually made our way along Back Cove and the East End Trail to Commercial Street. We got there just after opening time, had a quick pint and then ran back - via a shorter route since we all had to get to work.
After work on Tuesday I went to Twin Brook for my first evening run there since the clocks changed, it was great to be able to run in the daylight again. I met Jim, Blaine and Jeff and we ran a 5 mile loop covering pretty much all of the trails. Starting next week we will return to the Tuttle Road side of TB and start using the main parking lot again.
Wednesday evening I wasn't feeling very ambitious when I got out of work and wasn't even sure I would get out for a run since I had done a double the day before. The weather was no nice I couldn't really resist and after an easy mile warm up I hit Back Cove at a pretty good pace and turned out a couple of quick miles. 5.5 miles at a 7:25 average pace with a fastest mile time of 7:05.
Thursday I met Jamie at Back Cove right after work, he had already completed one lap when I bumped into him and we planned to do another 2 together. I had thought this might be a nice easy run but Jamie was cruising at a good pace and I had no trouble keeping up so we just went with it. I ended up with about 8 miles again at about a 7:25 pace. I don't know the details for sure since Emma had the Garmin on her 24 mile at Bradbury during the day.
While I don't feel like I'm totally out of the woods with the PF I don't think that's it holding me back. I'll continue to stretch, ice and wear the Strassburg Sock. Today I'm getting a massage which should also help things along. I need to figure out why my hamstrings and achilles are always tight, strange that they don't seem to affect my running but I always feel them afterwards. Another long run is planned for this weekend at Bradbury, I'm still trying to keep up with Emma's 50 miler training schedule, if for no other reason than so we can run togther for 6 hours on our 10 year wedding anniversary on the 28th. I'm looking forward to it!