Sunday, July 27, 2008

Running Plans

Hmmm...running plans. A) Get healthy. B) Have fun. C) Run some sweet trails.

I haven't run a meaningful step this entire month. I guess I did a 12 minute run a couple days ago and ended up walking back. I quit running the first of the month because of two apparent neuromas in my left foot--one between the 1st and 2nd toes and one between the 2nd and 3rd toes (I think).

For the first week or so of not running, my foot really really hurt, all the time. I avoided walking as much as I could because it hurt to walk. I was scared for awhile that it was broken. The weekend that I went down to crew Kyle at Hardrock my foot finally started feeling a bit better, but just the few steps of running around that I did while crewing made it hurt more.

The last couple weeks the foot is way better than it was when I first stopped running, i.e. walking is rarely much of an issue, but it certainly is not runnable. I can press everywhere on all of the metatarsals and there is no sort of touchy spot, so I'm fairly convinced it's not a stress fracture in addition to the neuromas. I know the neuromas are there because they often click under the ball of my foot when I walk. But, the ball of the foot isn't what hurts. It's more like an ache/sharp pain between my metatarsals. When I step hard on a rock in the right place (right under the metatarsal head of my second toe) the pain is BAD all the way through my foot. But, it's not nearly as bad as it was, say, two or three weeks ago.

I've been going to a chiropractor here in Leadville that has been doing some metatarsal shearing/adjusting trying to loosen up my 2nd and 3rd metatarsals and has also been doing some ultrasound, but it doesn't seem to be helping much. I'm seriously considering trying to get a cortisone shot because I've heard some good things about them from people I trust.

In terms of my plans for running, the LT100 is clearly out. Even if I could start running tomorrow, I wouldn't do that race. Right now, I only have time goals at that race and running to an unfit 18 or 19hr finish doesn't interest me, even if it were a win.

For a while I was consciously shifting my (purely mental at this point) focus to the Angeles Crest 100 in September. However, as this injury wears on--and AC is currently only 7 weeks away--I've largely foregone that plan, too. I'm really really tired of trying to prepare for a quality 100 miler with only a month or so of training (this was the case for both of my hundreds--Rocky and Pbville--last year). That was a big reason I was so psyched for Western--my training leading up to it had been virtually hitch-free and very consistent for four months, including two promising tune-up 50 mile races.

So, right now, I'm focusing on just getting healthy in time to do some sweet adventure runs this fall. Things I'm pondering right now include running the entire Tonto trail in the Grand Canyon (~100 miles), the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands (really more of a road, but still an incredible 100 mile loop), something sweet in the San Juans (Grenadier Range?), or maybe even a single push on the Tahoe Rim Trail...

Of course, all of this is once again also making me ponder my training approach. The bottom line is that when I eliminate everything else in my life, I run too much. When I was working at the Colorado Running Company this winter/spring I was limiting my mileage (relatively speaking) and incorporating some solid speedwork into my weekly schedule. Hanging out with Kyle and Scott in Arizona, things were often on the verge of getting out of hand but Kyle's mellow attitude would often reign me in (the same when we were living together in CO Springs). It was only after I dropped Jocelyn off in San Diego and I was doing nothing but sleeping in my truck and running for the last couple of weeks before WS that I let the mileage get out of hand.

So, right now, instead of just thinking about changing my running, I'm trying to do it in the larger context of making some overall changes in my lifestyle, i.e. establish some kind of permanent job this fall/winter/next spring before grad school in 2009 and/or embark on a 3ish month period of international living or travel. We shall see.

In the meantime, working at Provin' Grounds in Leadville is great. It's a big hang-out for runners, bikers, and locals and virtually everything is organic and fairtrade, including the in-house baked goods. And Leadville is a great town in the summer. I could probably not stand the winters at 10,000', but in the summer it's a perfect place with great locals, great mountains/trails, and is very living-out-of-the-Roost friendly.

Week Log: June 23-30

Mon-12 miles (1:35) Mesas and Monument

Tue- 8 miles (1:22) Weehawken Trail to Alpine Mine off of Camp Bird Road in Ouray.
Great great run. 3000' climb to 11k' in less than 50 minutes on incredible singletrack. Being in Ouray this time of year makes me wonder why anyone who loves the mountains would ever want to live anywhere else. This run made me feel very very ready for WS.

Wed-7 miles (1:00) Animas River road out and back from Silverton

Thu-15 miles (2:01) Connors Pass from Majors Junction in the middle of nowhere in Nevada.
~2000' climb

Fri-AM: 8 miles (1:15) Maroon Lake towards Buckskin Pass outside of Aspen. A ton of snow still up there, so I turned around.
AM: 27 miles (5:02) Hope Pass Double Crossing with a lot of extra stuff on the Twin Lakes side because of the raging river that was unswimmable. Ended up crossing at the bridge.

Sat-AM: 25 miles (4:00) Mosquito Range Ridge east of Leadville. ~2hrs above 13k'
PM: 5 miles (:40) East Pb singletracks

Sun-AM: 22 miles (4:04) Hope Pass Double Crossing from Winfield side
PM: 5 miles (:41) Mineral Belt bike path plus 15 minutes barefoot. Pissed blood. Nice.

Total: 134 miles (21:40)

Mon-AM: 6 miles (:50) Colorado Trail w/ Alex from Mayqueen.
Well, the foot was done on this run. I turned around and walked back while Alex went on alone. The CT was great, though. Climbed to 11,600' with lots of lakes and a surprising amount of snow still. Last run I've done in a month.