Monday, July 11, 2011

Running 8 Miles Without Run Training

Me on extreme right side trailing Kim and Luis last Saturday.
Nuts, I say!  I haven’t done any runs in… well (pause to think), I don’t even remember the last time I did. Sure, I’ve walked farther than that in recent months, but as far as my ankle tendons go, running becomes a different beast altogether. After overstretching my left ankle tendon three weeks ago while doing squats at work in the middle of the night, then doing a 7 mile walk with AREC a week after, I stopped doing walking workouts altogether for 17 long days. I kept all my workouts on the spinning and recumbent bikes. After I deemed my left ankle adequately healed (my right ankle is hopelessly damaged), I went out last Tuesday not for a walk, but (gasp!), a run/walk to Target (to my readers from overseas, it’s a department store). I had to check out what kind of bathroom weighing scales they had and the costs because mine broke, but that’s another story. Anyhow, I managed 45 minutes of the 4 minute run with 1 minute walk break with minor soreness, which I followed up two days later with a 10% incline hill walk on the treadmill.
Which brings us to last Saturday morning. I had skipped the AREC workouts for two weekends since it was useless to show up if I didn’t plan on walking while I healed. The plan on this day was to do the 4 minute run with one minute walk interval for at least 6 miles. It was revised mid-run because my ankles felt ok so I didn’t do the scheduled walk breaks. The revised goal was to see if I can run non-stop up to 4 miles without pain before doing the walk break, which was revised further to 6 miles, but that was only because I managed to link up with a couple of other runners -Kim and Luis, which is what I miss the most about the training runs. When I walk alone, it makes the time and distance feel longer. Sorry guys, that I didn’t talk very much because I was trying to monitor how my ankles felt as the run went on. Not only that, I was also concerned about straining my right calf muscle like I did last year. We had two water breaks and one insulin adjustment break for Kim who is diabetic, which helped a lot in enabling my ankles to go a little bit farther. Believe me, I didn’t mind those breaks one bit and appreciated them a lot, whereas in the past I would have gotten very antsy. I told them about my plan and when we hit 6 miles, Kim reminded me of it. Well, one more mile maybe, and at 6.5 miles, I asked her to block or stop me from running any further and take a walk break when we get to 7. I made it to 7.34 before my watch signaled the one minute walk break, and this time I took it despite having only 2/3 of a mile to go. My stride was deteriorating at that point and I could feel the pounding on my ankles. A four minute run, a walk break and another couple of minutes of running later, I finished the greatest 8 mile run in recent history I’ve ever had! Yippee! All thanks to my two running partners of the day.
Was I in pain afterwards? Well of course I was, and I didn’t expect any less. I experienced what I consider a “beautiful soreness” of the muscles the next day. The real test for me however, is how much pain my ankle tendons would have the next day and two days after that. Thankfully, as of this writing, not very much. Notice how I differentiate between soreness and pain?
What do you say to a person who shouldn’t run anymore but still tries to? Don’t say “you’re nuts!” because I already self diagnosed myself with that one. Am I back? Highly doubtful. As it has been in the past couple of years, I’m day to day, and that’s just the way it is. Who knows? Running once a week just might work out for me.
Me and Rick going up Appian Way bridge.

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