24 miles and Hoka's

I had a 24 mile run on my schedule last week and embarked on it with a good mental attitude. However, I had run a hard 11 mile trail run the day before so my legs were a bit fatigued. As I headed out on my 24 miler, I knew I was pressed for time but I also knew that I needed to go a bit slower on this run. I have this crazy thing in my brain, some call it competitiveness, that prohibits me from starting slow, even with a Garmin on my wrist. I did do much better at pacing than my previous long run but having to be home at a certain time to get my son to soccer practice did not help my mental game.

This run was done mostly on dirt, rolling hills and a bit of singletrack trail. Fairy low elevation with only about 700 vertical feet climbed. I had my Hoka Bondi B shoes on along with my CEP compression socks. The first thing I immediately noticed was that my Achilles pain was about a 1-2 (scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst). I even had zero pain at some points during the run and it was truly exhilarating having a glimpse of what running without Achilles pain was like since I hadn't felt that for 4 years. Throughout the run, my Achilles pain fluctuated but never surpassed a 3-4. Cushioning was great. Cadence was high and the body felt okay. As I mentioned, my legs were already tired from the run the day before but I kept a good steady pace.

It was a hot day (for Fall in Colorado) so I brought two bottles of chocolate Generation UCAN with me. I finished both and an extra bottle of water during the 2:52:00 run. I only managed 20.3 miles because of time but was very pleased with my low Achilles pain and the effort I put in for this run. My average minutes per mile came in at 8:30 and when I got home and took off my Hoka's, I once again realized that my Achilles pain was non-existant yet again! For those of you with any type of chronic leg injury, you understand the magnitude of this.

I rushed through a quick shower then took my son to soccer. However, I still needed to get 24 miles so I walked around the soccer field on the walking path during his practice and logged an additional 4.10 miles of fast walking. One thing that I have learned throughout my ultra running career is that time on feet is very important and it doesn't all have to be running. So, I was pleased to finish the day with just over 24 miles on my legs with very little Achilles pain and minimal muscle fatigue. The walk post-run really helped with my recovery.

I put in another hard 8 mile trail run yesterday and plan on two more short runs this week with one last long run later this week. I will shoot for 30 miles then recover, do a short run on Sunday or Monday and rest until Wednesday when I will complete my 40 mile run/adventure.

All of my runs have been done in my Hoka Bondi B shoes and I will continue this experiment and keep my updates coming to provide my subjective evaluation of these shoes and their worth in a runner who has chronic Achilles tendonitis.

Stay tuned later this week for another update post long run!

Coach Bob