Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psychic pain and 18 mile runs

I did my 18 mile long run today. It's the first time I've run that distance and while I wasn't worried, my last two long run attempts have ended pretty badly due to my foot problems. This one was stellar.

I ran a 3 leafed clover with 6 mile loops and my house in the center. I'd go out for 6 miles, stop in the house to fill my water bottle and head back out. It worked pretty well and I felt great most of the time. I was getting a little fried by the end but I haven't run over 6 miles in 3 weeks so that's to be expected. This is total success.

I'm happy to say I think I'm back at it due to uncharacteristically meticulous self care. I've been stretching and rolling all of the relevant muscle groups, taking ice baths regularly and otherwise channeling purity of every kind. My legs felt loose and ready to take the beating this morning and they're not in bad shape now. Hopefully they won't be too sore tomorrow as I'm running the Bare Foot 5k in Grand Rapids tomorrow. heh.

Self care...
not one of my specialties.

The people who really impress me in this life are the ones that are pursuing something, anything. I'm interested in the passion and intensity. You know, it doesn't even have to be a pursuit but something you pour your energy into, something that draws you in almost without your control. Artists are this way. They can't necessarily tell you why they do something or where it comes from, but they can't live without it.

A smart and strange friend once told me that artists are expressing their derangement and estrangement from normality. I don't know if that's quite the way I'd put it but if it takes a little psychic damage to create an artist or a maniacal athlete, I'll take it.


  1. I googled "psychic pain of running" and came across your post. I am right there with you. After having the most amazing second wind on a ten mile run two weekends ago--I mean I felt like I was flying, like anything was possible--I had the most frustrating, pain-laiden affair last weekend. Color me disappointed. It was brutal. When the run was finally over I was dizzy and nauseated and not right the rest of the day. Fortunately, I took it easy on myself on my run today and am again infused with hope. My goal is to reach marathon distances by the end of the season. I haven't registered for a marathon yet because I am not confident that my joints can take it and these things are expensive.

    Also like you, I am a minimalist runner of sorts. I suffered from patello-femoral or possibly iliotibial band syndrome and, despondant, gave up running for years. After reading McDougal's book, I decided to give it a shot and bought a pain of aquasocks. I was convinced enough to get a way-pricey pair of Vivo Barefoots but they wore out way to fast for the money. But over the course of using these thin-soled options, I managed to re-invent my stride. My feeling is that as long as you can manage a forefoot strike, you are going to be okay, so now I am in a pair of Sauconys and everything is going okay...sort of. I've delt with Achille's tendonitis, a bad ankle turn, and some more iliotibial band pain. But I'm still running and still increasing my miles. It helps I think that I stick mostly to turf. Man was not made to run down main street.

    So thanks a lot for your post. Good reading! And 18 miles! That's amazing!


    1. Hey Doc,
      Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. I've found it's pretty predictable with me that when I have a really flying high run, I'm probably going to suffer on the next one, or soon thereafter. I've become a true believer that just about anyone can complete the marathon distance given the patience to forgive themselves for not winning it.

      It's always good to hear about someone going through the same struggles. Let me say that your post appeared as I was debating with my wife whether or not it is worth going back to writing these posts...I mean literally in the middle of the conversation. So thanks for posting, keep up the great work, work your pace so you don't burn out, taker er easy out there.