Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 20

The Quick Stats:
Days I've had Vibram Fivefingers: 20
KMs Run in Fivefingers: 42.2 (seriously - co-incidental eh?)
Longest run in Fivefingers: 9.4km
Love/Hate? Love, but...

What the heck is going on?

Pain. I'm in serious pain.... but first...

It's been about 9 days since I've written, and with good reason. I've been in Nova Scotia for 10 days... Rural NS, with no internet.

While there, however, I did manage to get in some great runs. I did a couple runs around 7km, and a couple on this 9.4km route I found. The 9.4km route is great - and has two hills in it that are far larger than anything I have near my place in Ontario. The one is a full kilometer of climbing - and quite steep most of the way.

It's interesting to note that I found coming down-hill to be harder than going up-hill in the Fivefingers. I think it's because when you're running in normal shoes, you're more prone to heel-strike on the downhills, which provides a braking effect.... but obviously you can't heel-strike in the fivefingers, so instead your cadence picks up, and you're using muscles to slow you down from a full-speed, hell-bent descent. I found that by the bottom of the 1km downhill I was begging for mercy.

Anyway - back to the pain. This strange, strange pain. I originally started this whole Fivefingers Experiment because I was having shin splints. I'd read a lot about barefooting, and this was as close as I dared to come. I couldn't ignore the potential benefits, so I got the Fivefingers and started out... and I loved it. I've been loving it ever since, and working up my distance in the gradually while cross training with cycling to keep up my fitness.

Ever since I started running in the Fivefingers, the pain in my shin has been getting better. After my 9.4k hill route, I didn't even feel it. Two days later (this would be last Friday - 4 days ago now) I went out to do a quick 7k. The only thing 'strange' about this run was the dog. On the way back to my in-laws house, there's a 3-legged dog. Naturally, it's a mean 3-legged dog. I guess it's angry about the whole missing leg thing... but regardless of his motives, he will chase you down the road at his top speed.... which is about 0.0005 kmh slower than my top speed. Oh - and he lives on a hill.... so you're sprinting up-hill away from him until he gives up hopping after you. Add on the fact that you're trying not to laugh, and it's hard to not become a dog treat.

So, I manage to avoid being eaten, take it easy the last 1/2km back to the house, and sit down on the porch to chat. I feel great. Run was good, legs and lungs and feet all felt awesome. Perfect start to the day. Then, 20 minutes later, I stand up and it feels like someone has driven a nail into my left shin - right where the shin splint pain was before. I can't even put weight on it. I hobble around cursing for the next 10 minutes, then down a pile of advil and ice it unti it's numb. Problem is, it didn't go away - and it's still bothering me today. I haven't run since then, but my 1km walk to work was enough to aggravate it. Guess I'll have to head to Physio and get it looked at... and until then, I'll be holding off on running of any sort... as this one feels serious.

Hope to be writing again soon,


keith said...

you probably pulled that muscle that attaches to your shin bone trying to out run the dog. just take it easy and see if it heals on its own. i had a similar pain (to the point i thought i had a stress fracture) in may.

if you run your fingers hard up the inside of your shin (on that knot of muscle between your calf and shin, way deep), and it hurts like fire, likely all you have are strained muscles. avoid the advil, just take it easy and let it heal.

then when you get back to running, don't go near dogs and just take it nice and easy for a while. you'll be tip top shape in no time.

M@ said...

Thanks Keith...

Yeah, it's a little swollen - there's a bump in there anyway... and it definitely hurts when I push on it. I have physio lined up for next week, and will stick to non-running till then.

Oh well, the life of ultra-running, eh?