Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cue depressing music, stage right

The weekend of Jan 12/13 was an anomaly in that there were no trail races in the area. There was, however, what sounded like a fun 5K put on by the Dolphin South End Running Club (DSE) that would let me run two loops around The Jewel (Pac Bell Park or whatever it is now officially called).

But let's go back to a week ago, the Sunday morning after our 22 mile Coastal Crystal Springs race. When I got up in the middle of the night for my traditional toilet break, putting pressure on my right heel caused a fair amount of pain.

This was not exactly new - for a couple of weeks I had been having mild back-of-the-heel pain the morning after a run. It quickly went away and I blamed it on the back of my shoe rubbing on my foot.

On that Sunday it was a bit worse, and it finally dawned on me that it might be more serious. So I consulted my foot bible, Fixing Your Feet by John Vonhof (his real name!), and there it was - a perfect description of what I was experiencing and a perfect description of how it came to be. Which leads to a sentence I figured my lazy butt would never have to type:

I had over-trained.

To be clear, I was doing too much too fast. (Again, it's ridiculously unlikely I would ever type that.)

About three weeks ago I started getting up early and doing short but hilly runs. I don't run up hills during races, but I thought that running up short hills while training would be good for me, and it clearly was. I felt much better during the races that I ran after I started running those hills.

But then the pain showed up. Not much, and easily ignorable, but it was there.

Mrs Notthat at Bayfront Park doing her "form" run.
Her "form" looks hot and stunning to me.
Yesterday, after a week of no running (just some minor dog walking), I chased Mrs Notthat for about a mile during her training run. It felt great to be running, it felt great afterwards, and it felt great that I would be running laps around a frosty The Jewel the next morning.

But when I woke up this morning for the traditional toilet break, the pain was back. Not as bad as last Sunday morning, and as I type this, it's pretty much gone. I could easily do a run right now and it would be pain-free, but there would be pain later.

According to my foot bible, the nature of this injury, that it really doesn't bother you when running, is what leads to it's dark side - you ignore it and eventually you end up with serious issues.

I don't want serious issues. I've got too much planned for the first half of this year to jeopardize it by soaking up the Giants aura. And likely this means I won't be running the ITR Pacifica race next weekend, or the races the weekend after that (Brazen Coyote Hills or one of my favorites, Coastal Steep Ravine).

For now, I will take it easy. I will do some stretching exercises. I will let it heal. I will also get a TON of advice from others that have gone through this (yes Coach Luap, I'm sure a foam roller would fix this in a couple of hours).

In the meantime I will likely be volunteering at a lot of races for the next two weeks or so - maybe all the way up to when we head to New Zealand (I WILL be ready for the two races we are planning to do there, both of which are fairly tame and short, I think).

That's it - move along…


mary ann said...

oh, yes, be wise and obey the foot bible!

Brian Latham said...

Welcome to the injured club! Sorry your a member, but take it easy and stay away from toothpicks.

Beth said...

NTL - you must take time off now and heal your heel!
Remember Diablo 50k last year and your promised this year you'd be back on the 50k course...I'm totally holding you to it!!
Get better quick!