Monthly Archives: October 2007

A Little Jab’ll Do Ya

Start time: 10/30/07, 8:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:43min/mile

After getting a steroid jab in the foot on Monday, I headed to the gym on Tuesday to see how it worked. I took the first mile a little slow (9:14), no foot problems… and slowly (and without trying to) picked it up a bit for the other three miles (8:39, 8:23, 8:35). No pain whatsoever, just a tiny bit of soreness later in the day. I’ll be getting another jab right before leaving for OBX next week, so fingers crossed… maybe?

Good and Eh

Start time: 10/25/07, 8:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:37min/mile

The plan was to run earlier in the week before Thursday, but Monday through Wednesday I had such a horribly bad shoulder/neck pain that even moving my head hurt. So it wasn’t until Thursday that I felt good enough to actually run again. I went to the gym and used their indoor track; the first mile I did at a 9:00, and then without trying to the next three shifted up to 8:30. I felt good, no foot soreness, big thumbs up.

Start time: 10/27/07, 2:30pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:49min/mile

I finally picked up new inserts for my shoes, put them on, and decided to run a 10-12 miler. Before I even started, though, my right foot felt a tiny bit sore. Hmmm. After about a mile things seemed ok, and my pace felt good. (8:41, 8:58, 8:42, 8:52) Four miles in, though… the foot started hurting. Oh, hell. I turned around and headed back; the hurting never got any worse (yay) but didn’t get any better either (boo). At least the pace stayed the same, so that’s better than nothing. (8:47, 8:46, 8:55, 8:47)

So now I’m wondering, maybe it’s the pair of Brooks Beast that I got back at the start of September that are the problem? I was wearing an older pair of shoes for my last two runs (that were also an earlier model, I think) and the foot problems weren’t so bad. At this point I’m thinking I will go to the podiatrist again this week, and also go back to the old shoes through race day. Fingers crossed.

Last Group Jaunt

Start time: 10/21/07, 8:00am
Location: National Mall
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:58min/mile

After the last run and my foot problems, I did indeed see a podiatrist, who diagnosed the problem as a tendon strain in the arch of my foot. For two weeks, that meant no running while I let the foot heal, although the elliiptical (being non-impact) was deemed ok so at least my legs were still getting exercise. With all that in mind, I was a little nervous about today’s run.

The bad news is that the foot was a tiny bit sore at the start and end of the run; the good news is that it was nowhere near as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago. None the less, the podiatrist had said that if it was still bothering me to go back and they could inject it with a steroid to try and speed up the healing. So I will probably do that in a bit.

Other than that, though, the run was nice. Dave was sitting out because of heel problems but came by to see us off (the final long run for the group of the season), and Laura, Dvora, and Erika were all there. As a nice surprise, halfway through the run we ran into Paul (who had not realized until the morning that since his partner had the car he was without transportation) who then ran with us for the rest of the 8-miler. A nice way to wind things down.

“I just want to hear your rhythm.”

Start time: 10/7/07, 7:00am
Location: C&O Canal Towpath (and a touch of Rock Creek Park and the Capital Crescent Trail)
Distance: 22 miles
Average pace: 10:15min/mile

The last big run of the season, and it was… eh. (Well, aside from Bruce Springsteen’s “Radio Nowhere” being stuck in my head, which was a nice accompanyment for the run. Thus the post title.)

We ran three miles up in Rock Creek Parkway, then another mile to get to the Capital Crescent Trail, for another mile and a half. All was going well with me, Dave, Dvora, and Paul. Then we hit Fletcher’s Boathouse, where we were supposed to switch up onto the C&O Canal Towpath. Only thing was, Dave decided he didn’t want to run it. (Turns out he’d already arranged for his boyfriend to show up on the Cap Crescent on a bike for the path back in.) The big problem with running Cap Crescent is that all of our planned water stops were on the C&O Canal, and after you pass a water fountain at CCT marker 6.5, there’s no more water all the way to what would be your turn-around at CCT marker 1. So that’s 11 miles with no water, unless you abandon the trail when it goes through Bethesda and buy some. And today’s high temperature would be 90 degrees.

I said that I thought this was a bad move, and if everyone else wanted to run Cap Crescent, I’d just catch the next group (who had just run by while we were discussing this) and stick with the C&O Canal. Water, Gatorade, and support in case of disaster? I knew which sounded better to me, anyway. Dave and Dvora took off on the Cap Crescent, while Paul and I stuck with the C&O Canal. (Dvora had a CamelBack water pouch so we knew she’d be good.) Now the canal’s towpath is a little gravelly and rocky in places, but the further out you get, the better it actually is. As it is, we had a nice run the rest of the way out, and for about halfway back. Up through mile 16, we were averaging around a 9:45min/mile pace. Paul was starting to slow down at that point, though, and I walked for a little bit to eat a gel… and then when I tried to start back up, my right foot started cramping again.

Oh, great.

Now, the cramping wasn’t as bad once I’d been running for a bit; it was when I was walking that it actually hurt the worst. The problem was, I was also starting to run out of energy; the sun was high in the sky and it had really heated up fast. Paul decided he needed to slow down and told me to go on ahead, so I pushed on as best I could, a bad combination of taking a walk break, cringing, then slowly running again until the cramping went away and picking up speed… until I needed another walk break. Nothing like your time suddenly dropping by about a minute-and-a-half per mile.

I did finish, though, and I’m going to make an appointment with a podiatrist to see what exactly is going on. As it is, I think this week I am going to just scrub any running plans.

And last but not least? I was wearing a sleeveless running shirt because of the temperatures… which ended up chafing my arm pretty badly. Nice big red stripe for those who care to look. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!

Catching Up

Start time: 10/2/07, 6:30pm
Location: McLean High School
Distance: ~3.5 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile & 7:00min/mile

You know what happens when you’ve skipped your LTRs for a month? They stink, that’s what. I ended up only doing a little over half of the prescribed amount and then thought I was going to go splat. (This strange “oh look, August temperatures” phenomenon isn’t helping matters either.) Right foot was cramping again, although it eased up after a mile or so.

Start time: 10/3/07, 7:00pm
Location: Wilson Boulevard (Clarendon, Virginia Square, Ballston)
Distance: 4.25 miles
Average pace: 9:11min/mile

Just a quick jaunt up Wilson Boulevard and back. And, yet again, right foot strange cramps were in the house. I’m now wondering if the problem is the new pair of inserts in the shoes, so I swapped the right foot insert out today before going to the gym to use the elliptical and rowing machines. No foot pain, so fingers crossed, a bum insert was the problem! We’ll see on Sunday.