Achilles What?

What an interesting weekend I had. It started with me having to move my long run from Saturday to Friday night (decision made on Thursday) due to a family commitment on Saturday night. I have to say that I was not mentally ready for my run on Friday night and almost did not make it out the door!

With a swift kick in the behind by my wonderful wife, I managed to get out the door around 8:05pm with a fairly light load on me compared to last week. My plan was to do a few (okay, a bit more than that!) 5 mile hilly loops that I have mapped out around our neighborhood so I set up my aid station on my front porch. My first loop was horrendous. Well, at least from a mental perspective. Physically, I was clipping off some decent miles but I just wasn't into it. However, I turned it around on the second loop and felt like I was floating most of the loop. This lasted well into the third loop when all of a sudden, I had a good amount of pain in my left achilles. Now I have been battling this "little" achilles tendonitis issue since last Fall but it has never really hit me this hard before (probably due to the concrete I was running on). But at about 17.5 miles into my run, it let me know that I needed to stop. It was one of those things where you think to yourself "nah, I'll just run through it" and I am sure that I could have but I just didn't feel comfortable with this decision since my 50-miler is right around the corner.

I made it back home at 18.5 miles and hopped on my treadmill to walk out an even 20 miles. Not exactly the 26-28 miles I was hoping for but sometimes it is just smarter to listen to your body and mine was telling me that I was done for the weekend. I did try my second round of sodium citrate loading as I described last week and it worked wonders again! Lower heart rate and RPE for the climbs and besides not having my head in the game, I felt strong with less effort AND I had absolutely no GI issues whatsoever as I did last weekend. I attribute those problems to the gel that I took. So thumbs up on the sodium citrate loading again!

After calling it quits after 20 miles on Friday night, I downed some Ultragen in a bowl of Golden Grahams (not as good as the Honeycomb cereal last week) and hit the shower to try to salvage about 6 hours of sleep. Up bright and early on Saturday morning to perform an LT Test on one of my athletes then back home to coach my son's soccer game. We played a tough, tough team but our boys had great composure and made it a fairly even match. Of course, my boy extended his goal scoring streak by shooting a great shot at the lower right corner from about 15 yards away! Then it was off to my nephew's baptism party, then back home to sleep for 45 minutes before awaking to go catch a 12:55am flight to North Carolina to present at a USA Triathlon Coaching Clinic.

I really do not know how I pulled it off with about 3 hours of sleep but I managed to deliver 4 hours worth of nutrition and strength information to a great group of triathlon coaches. I have to admit, I don't think I have ever slept that much on planes before. Immediately upon taking my seat (window of course!), I would crash from wheels up to wheels down. Not the most comfortable sleeping conditions or high quality sleep but it was what it was!

Got home Sunday around 11:15pm and went right to bed as I could barely keep my eyes open on the drive home from the airport.

Reflecting on the weekend, I am continually amazed at what the body can handle over a period of a few days. One of my good friends warned against me doing all of this as he said I would get sick and I knew there was a good chance but I managed to stay healthy and prove once again that you can do more than you think you can!

This week presents more challenges (go figure, eh?). I'm off to Boston to present at a sport dietitian conference on Thursday through Sunday and since I really don't want to try to manage a 26+ mile run on concrete again, I am going to try to squeak out a long trail run on Thursday before I leave. We'll see how that goes since Mother Nature is expected to bring us "presents" in the form of rain and snow...that should make an interesting trail run! I say bring it on! Trail running is about getting sloppy now isn't it? Needless to say, I'll be donning my compression socks to aid in my recovery while traveling (I'll have my wife take a photo of me in these in the future for all to see!).

Until next week...

Coach Bob