May 28, 2006

I am struggling over here

Son of a bitch! Can't a guy get a break?

Went for what would presumably be eight miles in my new shoes. That didn't happen; neither did a full 6.7 loop. For whatever reason, my shin pains were just killing me today. I didn't expect new shoes to be miracle workers right out of the box, but I am definitely getting into trouble out there.

The run ended up being broken into half a dozen short jogs of 1/2 to 1/8 of a mile, with lots of walking, stretching, and adjusting of shoes in between. By the time I got to the end of the third mile in the park, I'd just had it. I was not only unable to make the shin pains go away, but new pin in the sides of my lower legs was beginning to happen. This was just a bizarre, unhappy run on what should have been a great day for a jog. :(

The shoes themselves are not the problem, I don't think. I already like these better than the 992s as no matter how I adjusted them, my heels stayed firmly in the heel cup, without the vertical lift like with the 992s. The soles bend better, even with the stiffer shank, and it didn't feel like I was running with boards on my feet. Though I never got the shin pains to go away, I attempted to do so many times by stretching and by adjusting my shoes. I tried tighter lacing, looser lacing, with insoles and without. And though the pain didn't recede, I did discover that I don't like running without the insoles. It makes for a tighter fit, sure, but the shoes are only what I would call snug, not tight. My heel and mid-foot are gripped firmly and my toes still have some wiggle room. Without the insoles, my feet kept slipping down the slope of my orthotics on every step, even with tight lacing. So...I loosened up the laces quite a bit, put the insoles back in, and slid the tongues over to one side. (I think that lacing that's too tight over the arch might be contributing to these shin pains.)

What has saved today from being a total waste was in getting in some speed work AFTER giving up on the running. I walked down to C-town, got groceries, and headed toward the bus stop. I noticed one idling and the last couple people getting on about 40 yards away and broke into an easy sprint. I got on the bus, sat down, and realized I had not one twinge during those ten seconds or so. Nothing. And my heart rate barely rose in response.

Curious what would happen, after I got home I went out again to begin what I will call an actual speedwork program. Fartlek and tempo runs are good and all; but I get the feeling nothing takes the place of measured interval training. I decided to start small and I'll work up to longer speed training days over the next couple of months. Speed training will help me more now than later. I did two reps of about 150 yards, with easy jogs back to the beginning. As I had no measured course, no stopwatch, no GPS or anything, I just ran the length of my block, going at a near-sprint. Sooner or later, I'll have to get a stopwatch and do this right, but for now, just building up to many sets of 400-meters will be good. My neighbor upstairs has a measuring wheel that I'll borrow some night this week and really figure out some distances. This little workout was quite difficult, by the way. I haven't sprinted those distances in a very long time. And....even after those few minutes, which earlier in the day would have had my shins screaming - NOTHING. No pain. Now how fucked up is that?

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