Sunset over Waveny Park, New Canaan

Training Recap #18 as of Sept 8, 2019

Training recap #18 covers EIGHT weeks from July 15 to September 8, 2019. BONUS FEATURE! (sarcasm). I explain the reason below. During the previous training session #17, I ran 49 miles on 12 days.

Training Period #18 Goals

Heal the plantar fasciitis in my left foot. And stay healthy. The goal is that simple. Please read on…

I suffered from plantar fasciitis in late June after a block of hard training, and after resting for 8 days, I resumed training in early July to prepare for my planned mile and 800 meter double at the Nutmeg State Games.

Unfortunately, I raced with plantar fasciitis, and I was unable to walk after the track meet. Now after an additional 7 weeks of rest, I started to train again on August 31.

A Few Lessons Learned

  1. Do not race while injured. The risk is high that the injury will worsen.
  2. Allow the injury to heal before resuming training. Hard training is likely to worsen the injury, and best case scenario it will delay the healing and resumption of full training.
  3. It is difficult to assess what is a reasonable healing and recovery timeframe with overuse injuries. Although mentally we may be ready to train again, if the body tells us it’s not ready, it’s not ready.
  4. The “downtime” is a perfect time to retrospect (running logs!) and assess what happened and why. Use this knowledge to strengthen areas of weakness, consider changes in training plans, etc., and come back stronger.
  5. Do not be afraid to make changes. I made many, including changing from New Balance Fuelcell Impulse and New Balance 890 v7 training shoes, to Hoka Cavu v1 shoes. Still neutral with a low, 4 mm heel to toe drop, and light (8 ounces). But slightly higher stack (and more cushioning), more voluminous toebox and wider heel.
  6. I have to own and learn from my mistakes. I wrote about this in my Training Recap #17 (bottom of post). Learning from my mistakes applies not only to running. The journey through divorce, healing and discovery must include ongoing reflection and examination of past behavior, decisions and outcomes.

Week 1: Toe in the Water

  • This was my 7th week of rest and recovery.
  • The plantar fasciitis rehabilitation program comprised of rest, ice and ibuprofen (Advil) to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing, as well daily stretching and strengthening to address issues in my kinetic chain (arches, calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back). I performed some of the exercises every 2 to 3 hours when and where possible. Not easy when commuting from Connecticut to New York City for work!
  • On Saturday and Sunday, I ran 2 miles each day in Waveny Park. Before my Sunday run, I assessed whether I would be able to run consecutive days. Had the injury worsened, I would have discontinued.
  • During the 7 weeks of recovery, I completed 13 strength training sessions. I realized substantial strength gains, because I was strength training while not running, so these “anabolic” gains were not being “destroyed” by the “catabolic” effects of running!

Week 2: Starting Over (Almost)

  • I ramped up to 5 days of running this week, never more than 2 consecutive runs, and completed 15 miles.
  • Tuesday and Friday were days off from running.
  • On two of the days (Monday and Saturday), I both ran and worked out with weights and kettlebells.
  • On one of these (Saturday), I worked out before running, and I could feel the “recovery” process from strength training impacted how I felt during my run. Time will tell if I can maintain my strength gains as I increase my running volume and intensity.
  • Overall, I am just thrilled to be running again. Lost a lot of aerobic fitness over the past 7-10 weeks, and will come back conservatively to be healthy and strong. My journey from divorce continues as I heal and rediscover myself.

Photo: Sunset in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT, September 2019. Shot with Google Pixel 3XL.

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