Saturday, October 13, 2012

Week Summary: Oct 1 - 7 (+ an off week)

Mon-AM: 2:19, 3300' ~ Refugi Sant Jordi
Ran the quiet, bucolic road from our hotel (Ca l'Amgata--truly amazing hospitality; honestly, it blows my mind) ~30min to the start of the trail up the canyon to the Refugi.  Nice mellow trot up the incredibly scenic climb for the third time in the past week, and then ran the last 12K of the race course back into Baga.  Took a while for things to get loosened up at first (left achilles, mostly), but then everything felt good except for my right big toe joint/extensor on the extended downhill.  Really fun to see these mountains on a nice sunny morning instead of having them hide in the clouds.  Spent the rest of the day meeting with BUFF designers and touring the factory just outside of Barcelona. I had no idea that all of their production is right there, nothing in China. The apparel (as opposed to headwear) is manufactured in Portugal, but everything else happens there in Igualada.

Tue-AM: 1:30, 1100' Basreny River out and back
Nice early 6:30am start in the dark under the very bright light of the moon before an all-day photo shoot up near Pedra Forca.  Legs felt way better than yesterday, including my toe.

Wed-AM: 1:52, 1800' ~ Collserola Park/Tibidabo
Run in Collserola with Nacho and Pol from New Balance.  Really tired legs.
PM: 0:58 ~ Barcelona Beach
Ran down through the Gothic district from my hotel down to the beach and back. Tired legs and tough negotiating my way through crowds of people nearly the entire way.

Thu-AM: 2:04, 4000' ~ Montserrat
Run from Montsellero with Just Sensio and Nacho.  They took me on a ~25k route of an old race course that climbs from town to the summit of the mountain and back down.  Awesome line that finishes with a really steep grunt up a canyon to the summit, complete with a couple of fixed ropes. Legs felt good and it was a ton of fun on an awesome mountain.
PM: 1:00 ~ Barcelona Beach
Much better run down along the beachfront. Found a more direct route and legs felt quite good.

Fri-AM: 2:12, 1700' ~ Collserola Park/Tibidabo
Ran from the hotel up to the forest/hills/trails.  Spent some time contouring on the Carretera des Aigues where I ran into a couple of familiar faces--Richard and then later, Allesandra.  The 25min of noisy, polluted, crowded street running on Balmes on either end of the run wasn't very pleasant, but so it goes when exploring a city I suppose.

Sat-AM: 2:33, 5000' ~ Montseny Traverse
With Nacho and Roberto Sancho.  Started from Coll Formic at 1100m above the town of Montseny and linked together the three main summits in the park, which included a pair of ~2000' climbs plus a couple other bumps followed by a screaming 4000' descent back down to Montseny.  The second climb was a very fun scramble up an aesthetic ridge to the summit..."La directa!"
PM: 1:01, 600' ~ Park Guell
Ran up to this iconic park where Gaudi has several impressive tile mosaics.  Legs were tired so I just stumped along through the streets and then enjoyed the art and views of the city from the park.

Sun-AM: 1:40, 1500' ~ Tibidabo Cathedral
Was running by 6:40am, which isn't early but feels really early these days now that it doesn't get light until after 7:30am.  The run up Balmes to the park was interesting in that I got to see all kinds of people still out after a long night of raging. Nice run up and down the trails in the park and then back on Balmes to the hotel.  My right leg really started acting up on this run, to the point where I was definitely favoring it and limping by the end--really weird, nervy peroneal/fibular pain that shoots up and down my whole leg at odd times.  Hurts more to walk than run, and it's a really weird feeling...not usual muscular tightness/soreness at all.  Feels almost like something having to do with a nerve, not muscular.

Hours: 17h09min
Vert: 19,000'

My legs came around quite quickly after the race and my local mountain runs near Barcelona on Thursday and Saturday were of a much higher quality than I could've ever planned on my own.  Many thanks to Pol, Nacho, Just, Roberto, and Dani for all rallying and showing me the two main playgrounds near (within 45min driving) Barcelona--Montserrat and Montseny.  Both were top-notch outings that I will definitely make sure to not miss the next time I'm in Barcelona.

Last week ended on a bit of a down note, though.  On my last run in Barcelona (Sunday morning) before catching a plane (and enduring 30hr of transit) to Cape Town, SA my right leg started acting up in a really weird way...not sure how to describe it except it feels like my peroneals/fibula, but it doesn't feel muscular at all.  Much more nervy.

I thought a day of rest whilst traveling would help set it right, but on my first attempt at a jog in Tonaika Forest in Cape Town on Tuesday morning it worsened and I had to walk back to the car after only 20min.  The wonderful folks at New Balance in SA got me right in for an appointment with a physio at the Sports Science Institute that afternoon, though, and it seems I aggravated a nerve (the sural nerve?) and it needs a few days of rest to quiet down.  This all meant that I had to miss the Otter Run and came back to Boulder a couple of days early, which was obviously a bit of a bummer, but I'm also happy to be back and look forward to getting back into a regular daily routine and getting fully healthy.  I'm taking this ill-timed niggle as an opportunity to rest for a week or two and recharge the batteries before hopefully getting in a nice block of training before the TNF50 Champs in San Fran on December 1st, which I'm looking ahead to with a lot more confidence after my run at Cavalls.

On Montserrat with Just. Photo: Nacho Puig.
Summit of Montserrat on Thursday morning, a 1000m climb up and out of the clouds. Photo: Nacho Puig.
La Sagrada Familia--Guadi's vision still being constructed nearly 100 years after his death.
Barcelona at dusk as seen from Park Guell. Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
On the first summit of the day at Montseny outside of Barcelona, looking at the next peak in the distance.
Final scramble to the summit of the second peak in Montseny.
Roberto reaching the summit after the scramble.  Pyrenees on the horizon.
Chapman's Peak overlook at sunset, near Hout Bay in Cape Town.
Camps Bay from the summit of Table Mountain.
Cape Town.


tim white said...

Good day sir! I hope your nerve issue is cleared up with a little pre-NF 50 training rest. Also congratulations on your stellar performance at Cavalls.

On to my shoe question..... I noticed in a photo on irunfar that you were wearing a New Balance prototype durng your pacing duties at Hardrock this year. It definitely appeared to be light weight yet slightly more supportive. I'm curious to know if something like that will be hitting the market anytime soon? I have a slight over pronation issue due to flat-ish feet but I cannot stand anyting bulky and built up or especially anything with more than 4mm heel to toe drop. Just curious as that shoe looked quite perfect for someone like me. Thanks!


Court5km said...

♥ you & what you do for the running sport! Always inspiring. Sending healing thoughts your way!

Unknown said...

Possibly the new balance mt110 or minimus 1010 that just came out. The 1010s are A bit like a cross between minimus trail 10 and the mt110.

Rain said...

Amazing pics as always.
Sorry to hear about your leg and how your trip had to be shortened! :( Seems like you got some good runs in while you were there but I am sure it was disappointing to deal with.
Hope you heal soon and enjoy (as much as one can) a break!

Clellyrunning said...

The sural nerve is best treated by a slight slump stretch with dorsi plantar flexion of the ankle with gripping your toes ! Pain free may I add :) get your thoracic spine moving ! If you run like you do it's a must :)

Bradley said...

Sorry to hear about your missing the Otter Run. I wish you a speedy recovery so you can show up healthy for the TNF50.

If you want to venture further north before or after your time in SanFran, the Whiskeytown Recreation area is a great place to camp and run. This is my neck of the woods.

pasi.koskinen said...

Sorry Anton but impatience for rest and recover without running gives way to disappointment.
Man is not a machine...

Anyway very inspiring read Your blog every week.

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same issue. A number of years ago prior to me starting to run, I ended up getting drop foot aftrr playing hacky sack. It went away afer a couple days. Fast forward to last year where I started having that same toe issue. This year after a shoe change the toe got a little better but then started getting that same shooting pain. It reminded of how it felt when I had drop foot. Its a weird nervey pain as you said. After looking into it after your post it obvious its peroneal nerve problems. It run down along side the achilles and into the foot. I am not sure how the big toe is related but it seems as if it might be. It seems to generate from the upper calf near where the fibula connects to the tib just below the knee. With drop foot it appears there is some binding that occurs in the upper calf area. I will be watching for your update. Heal fast it may help me. I will also look into that slump stretching as suggested.

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