C25K W3D2, Vibram’s Day 6

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I wish there was a safe way for me to run with my Canon Digital Rebel XT because oh my goodness was it a gorgeous day yesterday!  The Mad River Path was sun-soaked and despite the temperature hanging at 65º, it felt like a summer day while running in direct sunlight.  This made it much easier for me to relax into my body and just enjoy my time outdoors.

It wasn’t all peaches and cream.  Thanks to the mild patellar tendon issue I had experienced earlier in the week, I found myself hyper-sensetive towards my body movements; this definitely goes against the idea of being loose and letting go.  I think it’s only natural to have an overreaction to body discomfort.  Even subconsciously our bodies overcompensate for injuries which often leads to further structural discomfort as our alignment is changed.  As an over-thinker, I found myself in an internal battle trying to will myself to relax while trying to be hyper-aware of my movements.  Needless to say, my stride was a little wonky.

Along with additional quad stretches, I did add in knee supports this time, and am grateful that I did.  Initially, I had purchased this Ace Knee Brace in S/M.  I found it to be a bit bulky, but the overall issue I had with it is that while my calves and knees are well-within a “small” range, my thighs are closer to a “large”; I’ve got chicken legs, what can I say?  This meant that the brace was very tight around my thighs and it kept slipping downwards as a result.  I exchanged those for these adjustable Ace Braces.  They stayed on much better.  I’m open to suggestions here, because one of the issues I have is that my kneecaps don’t track straight up and down; they shift laterally as my knees bend.  That means that my patella does not stay in the patella hole.  I felt no discomfort, but I’m not sure if there may be a better solution for me out there.

This was also my first experience using the Vibram’s in water!  After the run, Toby begged me to let him swim in the river.  Who was I to deny such a request on a gorgeous warm day in Vermont?  While he fetched sticks from the river, I let my toes sink into the pebbles and waded out into the tide.  Ahhhhh, so nice.  It was a great way to cool my body down and I loved the sensation of my toes sifting through pebbles and mud without worrying that I might land on something sharp.  I can’t wait to try swimming in the Vibram’s!

Despite the wonky stride, which left me a little more out of breath than usual and caused me to stare at the running countdown a bit more, I feel pretty darn good today.  Zero patellar tendon pain (yay!).  No foot pain, no ITB discomfort, and my quads feel much looser than they did after my last run.  The only thing I can complain about is mild discomfort in the distal end of my right gastrocnemius/calcaneal tendon.

The calcaneal tendon, which is commonly referred to as “Achilles tendon”, is a common spot of tension in runners.  If you see the image to the left you will notice that the calcaneal tendon is quite large (the tendon of gastrocnemius becomes the calcaneal tendon, despite it being labeled separately) .  While many believe the Achilies tendon is just near the ankle, inflammation of this tendon can be felt much farther up.  My discomfort is about a third of the way up my calf.  I believe the reason for my new-found discomfort there is thanks to trying to baby my knees while running and over thinking my movements.  I’m going to do some self-massage and an Epsom-salt soak and try to ease in to my stride better next time.

I’m heading to Connecticut today for Elaine Stillerman’s MotherMassage® course.  That means my next run will be on the treadmill at the hotel I’m staying at, bleck!  This will be my first time running on a treadmill.  I’m nervous about being bored and also a little concerned about how that might mess with my stride.  Any tips are greatly appreciated.  I’ll let you all know how it goes!

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  1. Emily  April 23, 2010

    Your dog is telling you to become a triathlete. 🙂

    Put your treadmill on a 1-2* angle to better emulate running outside; if it has an interval setting, try that – it’s a lot less boring!

    I have the hinged version of that knee brace and they are huge (I call them my mecha-knees), I got an added boost of support by cramming them under my running pants with a little compression – I forget the name of the particular pant, but they’re from Lululemon. It looks ludicrous, like huge lumps under the pants, but it keeps them in place and from bugging me too much.

    Re: your last entry, that was like the novelization of what my doc told me about the ITB – it was seriously a great read, especially since I got about 10 seconds of face-time with a doctor in the clinic. I’m currently kicking myself for shelling out for foam rollers when I could’ve used my rolling pin, that’s a seriously great idea.

    I do want to say, you perhaps did me a few too many favors with “In Emily’s case, she wisely chose the RICE solution” – it should read “In Emily’s case, she stupidly continued to run on her injuries until she could no longer walk like a normal person, THEN chose the RICE solution.” Hahaha…sigh. 🙂

    • BarefootInVermont  April 25, 2010

      I’m glad you enjoyed the last entry. I definitely used you as an “ideal” example, but it was fun to think about how the issues were related. I think this blog is really appealing to the anatomy-geek side of me. 🙂

      The treadmill did not kill me. I need to find some time to write about it but this three-day-intensive workshop is kicking my ass! Will write soon.

  2. Kristin  April 23, 2010

    Do you listen to the Radiolab podcast/show? I just listened to one recently about limits; it explored the ideas of body-hypersensitivity and compensation and their relationship to performance. It was pretty fascinating. Our minds/bodies do some craaaazy things.

    • BarefootInVermont  April 25, 2010

      I haven’t heard that one. Makes a lot of sense. We spent a good chunk of school on body compensation and it is crazy how much the mind can go into overdrive trying to overcompensate for injury. I’m sure I’ll have more examples before my experience with C25K is up. 😉