Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Iddy Biddy Breakthroughs

Recently, I've been struggling a bit with training on two fronts. First, my mojo took a bad left turn somewhere and got lost. Second, I've been struggling finding the right solution to some pain I've been having while running...again.

But, I think I've actually come to some resolution on both fronts.

Gasp is right.

Let's start with the running. Long story short, I purchased my Asics Kayanos upon a recommendation from a friend/fellow triathlete who has lots of experiencing doing just that, but didn't have the benefit of being right there with me during the purchase. I was thrilled for new shoes. I was thrilled for support and cushioning. It was a good relationship.

Until it wasn't. It's been over well over a year now and I've been through multiple halves, an iron attempt, olys, sprints, road races, trail races, and training in a string of Kayanos. And the whole time my limiter has been (a) my willingness to get my ass out of bed to train (completely irrespective of my shoes, but true and we're being thorough here), and (b) knee pain.

This year my typical IBS converted to a strained hamstring and glute. The last five miles of the Devilman Half was a mix of walking and dragging my left leg behind me in what I call my Frankinstein run. It was bad. All of a sudden I'm icing daily and taking OTC pain meds and seeing an ART specialist. The good news is that, following lots of advice from different specialists, it seems I'm one of the rare supinators. Under-pronators. AKA gots ta run on the outsides of her feets.

In a nutshell, I was exaggerating an issue that my feet naturally have and could easily be accommodated for in a neutral shoe by forcing my foot to stay on the outside. As a result, I'm asking the outside of my legs (especially my left one with the existing tight IT Band) to do the bulk of the work.

And they don't like it.

So, I switched my shoes this week. Asics Nimbus 9. A neutral shoe with moderate cushioning because -- let's face it -- I'm still an Athena and we Athena's need a little shock absorption between us and that hallowed road.

And now when I run? I stop because of fatigue, not pain. It has been a long time since I could say that. This has made a huge difference in my mojo, too. I no longer flinch when I think about needing to run on a certain day. It's no longer about managing the pain, I can get back to enjoying the training.


And, speaking of mojo, I may have found that again, too. In the last few weeks I haven't really been -- I don't know -- connected with my training. I can't see it in my head. Sounds stupid, I know. But I'm so distracted by my life I haven't really kept my training incorporated into that picture. So it's been on my mental edges, which has translated to being on the edges of my time.
A good part of it is the pain and effort. The pain from my knee/ham/quad getting better and the effort of coming back to regular sessions after time off. I knew I just had to go out and do it, but I just couldn't get myself there.

But I have a race looming in my future, so I have to get back to it, even the hard stuff, especially the hills rides. I've been ducking and dodging the hill rides because I've been worried that my week and half off left my legs all mushy and meally like. Plus I have to dial in the cleat placement on my shoes and there's always wedding things to plan and isn't it time for another batch of gazpacho? No? Bike?


Last night I bailed on all those other distractors and finally got my arse out there for my local hill ride. And, you know what?

It rocked. I felt like last year during Iron training, but better. I forgot how responsive my new bike is and how smooth it is to ride. I realized that I still have a TON of fitness in me, even though I had a wee vacation from training. In fact, I tackled the ride better last night than I ever had last year.

And for the first time in a while, I could see the summer days stretching out ahead of me with many quick evening rides, chasing my shadow home and hoping I made the turn around early enough.

So. Let's review.

Shoes -- check.

Mojo -- check.

Life, my friends, is good.


Wes said...

Happy Able :-) Cheeeeckkk!!!

Sarah said...

Oh good! I have lost my mojo, but with a race looming on the horizon (a hilly one at that!), I've got to get at it.

I'm going to try those shoes because I have similar issues. I wore Asics a long time ago and have switched around ever since.

Calyx Meredith said...

Sounds like your recovery has been good. Recovered the mojo, recovered a healthy leg - yay Able!

Meredith said...

I tried the Kayano once and it felt like it never broke in. Plus, during that time I got a stress fracture. Now, I'm not going to blame it on the shoes, but they certainly were a contributing factor.

triguyjt said...

Hye--the mojo was there all along!!!!!

glad the shoe issue is working out for you

TrainingtoTri said...

yeah for mojo and new shoes!

Alili said...

Yay, rest and new shoes=getting your mojo back:)

LBTEPA said...


tri-dogmom said...

The switch to the Nimbus helped My IT bands as well :-)

rr said...

Hi there - I just jumped over and wanted to say hi since I'm lurkin'.. I am just getting through ITBS from heides too and it came on shortly after I decided it was time to try something new and different from my neutral race flats that I do everything in.. dur. Back to neutral for me too. Glad to hear you're running pain-free.

Have fun supporting at Eagleman!