November 30, 2006

I am a...ballerina?

Got ice on the ankles right now, so I'll get this post done. Just got back from a relatively quick 5K run, just up to the park and back. My whole goal today was just to get out there and not abort the run. Now that knees are off the radar (for now), it seems like it's time for the ankles and shins to give me trouble. I DID go to the doc yesterday, where the doc who built my orthotics took a look at things. I pointed out that the only consistent pain - and the only pain that is of worrying intensity - is deep inside my left ankle. He quickly found the problem - a form of shin splints that has to do with the tendon that wraps around the end of the femur down in the ankle. He said it's most often seen in ballerinas. greeeeaaaat. Um, yeah...I'm gonna have to ask you not to spread that around the office. People will get the wrong idea, ya know.

He did modify the orthotics a touch and prescribed a lot more stretching of the calves. That was the fix last time I had shin splints consistently, after all, so it should work again. In addition, I'm going back to using the theraband to strengthen these ankle muscles, though the doc said that'll take months.

Anyway...the run today. Took a couple of ibuprofen, slipped into my shoes, and got out the door. I started off with a slow jog, but soon upped the pace as much as my painful shins and ankles were letting me, because today was not about having to save energy. Today was about getting some elevation in and just getting the joints and blood moving.

The splits are mildly deceiving, in that I paused the workout twice to stop and stretch a great deal. So the splits don't show actual overall time, but only "moving" time. That said, this was a good run despite the pain. I got the pain to mostly abate in the last mile and was able to pick up the pace at points throughout the run to a sub-10. On one flat section coming back, I noted I was kicking a 9:10 pace at that moment and...wait for it.... I actually felt GOOD. Heart, lungs, legs, even ankles at that moment, all working together... YES! I just need more of that. Lot's more of that.

The downhills I took gingerly, as the pounding to the ankles intensifies. But on the other hand, I lengthened my stride, which allowed a better ankle-to-toe roll, rather than coming down flat with my feet.

In other news, I couldn't wait 'til this weekend's long run and went ahead and listened to the most recent Pheddip, ep 73, an argument against the Slate article by Gabriel Sherman. I was looking forward to Steve giving it to Gabriel with both barrels, but Steve's rebuttal doesn't come to the table with enough of its own research (Steve relies on classic debate tactics and logic arguments, rather than bringing in new information) so the whole thing feels like he was holding back; he merely winged Gabriel. I'd really like Steve to let go and have more bleeped out words and really take us on an emotional rollercoaster. But Steve is just TOO NICE! Or too responsible, I guess. But Steve did a great job of picking Gabriel's argument apart - which I'm sure Gabriel counts on, as his whole point is to draw traffic to the article. (And though Gabriel is not the first or last to hold his position, he uses fantastically bad arguments to support it.)

I also had the opportunity to listen to an episode that didn't download correctly the first time, so I was playing catchup. Imagine my surprise to find my own blog featured as Steve's blog-o-the-week in episode 71, the Cost of Running. It was a nice surprise.

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