This past Monday, the day after running my long run and posting about it, my body started complaining. Normally I feel a tightness or general tiredness after hard/long runs, but what I felt on Monday was not that; rather, I felt like I had a slightly pulled muscle in my right foot, and my left knee teetered between feeling ‘weird’ and hurting. I’ve run enough to know the difference between muscle soreness and injury, and the pain in my knee felt like something bordering on injury. SCARY. I was wearing a pair of ridiculous, furry Ugg boots due to a surprise snow storm (thank you, Spring), and at first I thought my knee was just aggravated from the weight of the boot.
Okay, I didn’t really believe that but the thought crossed my mind. I knew the long run was the cause, but since I’ve increased my mileage in a very conservative manner, I think the real culprit was my pair of running shoes. I mentioned in the previous post that I had a hunch that my shoes were starting to wear out, and I believe what I felt on Monday was my body’s way of confirming that suspicion. I read somewhere that the best shoe in the world can’t fix a bad foot, but a bad shoe can ruin the best foot. The same can be said of ankles, knees and hips, so I made a logical connection.
I had run 300-350 miles in my shoes, and it is rumored that running shoes last between 300 and 500 miles, depending on the runner and the shoe. I decided that even my shoes have some more life in them, that life would have to be spent on short runs. I also decided that in addition to icing my shins to prevent/treat shin splints, I would ice my knee and foot. I did that Monday and Tuesday night, and even after just one night both my knee and my foot felt better.
On Tuesday (yesterday), I got an updated version of my Mizuno Wave Riders, and today I tested them and my legs out with mile repeats. Here was my workout: (on a treadmill)
1 mile warm up, 9:00 pace gradually building to 8:30 pace
3 x 1mile repeats at 7:05 pace, with 1:30 min walking and 1 min at 8:30 min pace in between each
1/2 mile cool down, 8:30 pace
The run totaled to just over 5 miles, which I felt was sufficient given I was running in new shoes and threatening-to-be-injured body parts. It felt great and I even ended the workout with the feeling that I could have done another mile repeat. I finished off by doing weighted lunges and some other body-weight exercises, and finally a long stretching session with a foam roller. This Friday I plan on adding an extra mile or two to my usual short run to make up for today being slightly shorter than normal.
My legs felt great and oddly, I didn’t have even the slightest hint of the usual tightness/tiredness from the long run. This makes me super happy because it means I’m getting to a point where I can recover from a 16 mile run within a reasonable amount of time. More importantly, my knee and foot both felt close to normal. I think I owe that to ice and new shoes, in which I am a huge believer. In fact, I’m going to go do some icing now just for good measure.