Post Marathon Lull

After finishing the marathon last month, there hasn’t been much to document.  I ran the marathon on a Sunday and waited until the following Wednesday before lacing up and going out for a run again. I started with a 5 miler then followed it up with an 8 mile run on Saturday.  After 6 weeks of running on a schedule, it felt awesome (and a little awkward) to be able to run whenever I wanted and for as long as I wanted.  A friend asked if I wanted to go for a run around the lake and I actually could without worrying about my schedule.  It’s also nice to get back into biking and swimming full-force again.

The second week after the marathon, I woke up at 6am and went to the track for a speed workout. My pace seemed a little slow which didn’t surprise me a lot.  After browsing through the fitness reports provided by my RunKeeper logs a few months ago, I been noticing that there is a definite correlation between my weight and running pace.  The graph lines are almost mirror images of each other.  During the taper portion of training for the marathon, I gained about 4 lbs. and still weigh about 3 more than I did before the race.  No problem, the fact that I’m running again will be able to take care of that and I’ll probably watch my diet a little just to make sure that I get the weight back to where it was.

My wife handed me a book the day after the marathon titled “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall. It’s a really interesting book about how humans are actually designed better than any animal in the history of the planet to run long distances.  A great deal of the book involves a tribe of Mexican natives who still maintain the tradition of running great distances as a way of life. They traveling dozens and even hundreds of miles at a pop running in homemade sandals or even barefoot. It has changed how I run and even how I think of running. The book suggests that our brains have figured out ways of doing things without having to run which has led to us losing that natural ability. We can wear big, gel-packed shoes to compensate for this or we can try to regain some of that natural ability by shedding them and running barefoot like our ancestors.

I haven’t plunged into the world of barefoot or even minimalist running yet but I’m constantly aware of my stride and how I’m landing on my foot when I run now.  Unfortunately, this has also led to some aches and pains involved with the changed stride. The big thing that I’m focusing on is landing more on the forefoot instead of the heel. Landing on the heel too much can lead to injury since the only shock absorption is the padding in your shoe.

Unfortunately, there are problems involved with using different muscles to run. In the process of changing my stride to avoid injury has actually caused an minor injury. My right ankle was sore for a few days. I kept running on it and the pain spread to the interior side of the foot. I looked online and it might be a case of Posterior tibial tendonitis caused by excessive stress on the forefoot.  I’m currently taking the week off to rest my right foot and see how it is then.