16 Miles Run

NOTE: I was wrote this post last Sunday, but I didn’t publish it because we left for the hospital to give birth to our 2nd child: Roesevelt David Fulkerson. I twittered the birth and I’ll be publishing a blog post ASAP about Roe and the birth.

Time for my weekly training update. First, let me remind myself here that I started running with my other  shoes at the beginning of this week. Shoes are good for 300 miles and I’m rotating two pairs to make sure I have shoes for the Rock and Roll Marathon on June 1.

This week was especially hectic at work as I finished a time consuming project. As a result I missed running one day :-(, which means I only got in three runs. My run on Tuesday was 3.74 miles through downtown and in the rain. My run Thursday was a great 5 mile run through Mission Hills. The Saturday run was a brutal 8 mile run that began at Morley Field to the North of Balboa park. The run was partly on muddy trails and consisted of running up and down canyons. It whipped my ass. Rion did fantastic with a 9:40ish pace. My pace was terrible at 10:49.

America's Finest City - Half Marathon 2008My left calf is giving me problems. My muscles in the calf and shin cramp up so tight that it is difficult to even walk. When this happens it’s always within the first two miles and I have to stretch it vigorously for it to loosen up. This happened to me after the first canyon during the 8 mile run yesterday and it took me a half mile to get the calf to loosen so I could run again. I never know when to expect it to give me problems, but whenever it does it leaves me feeling not in control. It’s very frustrating. Also, after runs along the right side of this left calf, from just above my foot (on the right side) to just below the knee on the inside of the leg and what feels to be under the calf muscle I have a sharp sustained pain that does not feel like a pulled muscle, but more like tendon strain.

I spoke with one of the WC Roadrunner coaches about strategies to help. Obviously I’m already stretching the hell out of the problem (left) calf before every run. The coach suggested: stretch it more, run on your heels and also toes during warm-up to stretch it more and work it with “The Stick“, which I’ve been considering buying anyway.

My training schedule this week:

Feb 14
Feb 15 Feb 16
Feb 17
Feb 18
Feb 19
Feb 20
Feb 21
8 miles OFF 40 min (missed) 25 min 45 min 35 min OFF 9 miles

4 thoughts on “16 Miles Run

  1. Congrats on the baby!

    I had a similar problem last year actually, and it turned out it was a pinched nerve that caused the muscle to tighten somewhat inexplicably – regardless of stretching, eating potassium, drinking electrolytes, etc. What ultimately fixed it was physical therapy which mostly included massage and kinesio tape. Thats the tape that the olympic volleyball players were all wearing. Its MAGIC. It may be worth going to a couple physical therapy sessions to get the feel of the tape and to have them help relax the muscle.

    Good luck this week – and post some pictures!

  2. Congrats on your new baby!

    I can appreciate your frustration and sense of being out of control, so I'll attempt to convey some advice that helped me: For the calf tightness, it sounds like you are pushing off with your toes. Lean forward from the ankles, keep your body straight and let gravity do the work for you. Try to relax your calves and ankles. Check out Chirunning.com for more details. Hills can compound the issue. When going up, use your arms, short strides and lean into the hill. When going down, and it is not too steep, be perpendicular to the trail/road and stretch out your stride and let gravity help you down.

    The stick or a foam roller will help stretch the muscles much the same way a deep tissue massage would, so be prepared for some pain, but it will definitely help. It was the best treatment for my IT band.

    Don't land on your heels which can cause more friction and transference of force to your knees. Instead try to land mid-foot below and just behind your center of gravity. The impact is distributed more evenly. Chirunning applies the principles of physics to running and makes sense, as well as, reduces pain and injury.

    Keep it up. It looks like your progressing well if you are already doing 8 milers. (Of course, that could cause problems if you try to progress too fast, too soon.)

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