I wish there was a safe way for me to run with my Canon Digital Rebel XT because oh my goodness was it a gorgeous day yesterday! The Mad River Path was sun-soaked and despite the temperature hanging at 65º, it felt like a summer day while running in direct sunlight. This made it much easier for me to relax into my body and just enjoy my time outdoors.
It wasn’t all peaches and cream. Thanks to the mild patellar tendon issue I had experienced earlier in the week, I found myself hyper-sensetive towards my body movements; this definitely goes against the idea of being loose and letting go. I think it’s only natural to have an overreaction to body discomfort. Even subconsciously our bodies overcompensate for injuries which often leads to further structural discomfort as our alignment is changed. As an over-thinker, I found myself in an internal battle trying to will myself to relax while trying to be hyper-aware of my movements. Needless to say, my stride was a little wonky.
Along with additional quad stretches, I did add in knee supports this time, and am grateful that I did. Initially, I had purchased this Ace Knee Brace in S/M. I found it to be a bit bulky, but the overall issue I had with it is that while my calves and knees are well-within a “small” range, my thighs are closer to a “large”; I’ve got chicken legs, what can I say? This meant that the brace was very tight around my thighs and it kept slipping downwards as a result. I exchanged those for these adjustable Ace Braces. They stayed on much better. I’m open to suggestions here, because one of the issues I have is that my kneecaps don’t track straight up and down; they shift laterally as my knees bend. That means that my patella does not stay in the patella hole. I felt no discomfort, but I’m not sure if there may be a better solution for me out there.
This was also my first experience using the Vibram’s in water! After the run, Toby begged me to let him swim in the river. Who was I to deny such a request on a gorgeous warm day in Vermont? While he fetched sticks from the river, I let my toes sink into the pebbles and waded out into the tide. Ahhhhh, so nice. It was a great way to cool my body down and I loved the sensation of my toes sifting through pebbles and mud without worrying that I might land on something sharp. I can’t wait to try swimming in the Vibram’s!
Despite the wonky stride, which left me a little more out of breath than usual and caused me to stare at the running countdown a bit more, I feel pretty darn good today. Zero patellar tendon pain (yay!). No foot pain, no ITB discomfort, and my quads feel much looser than they did after my last run. The only thing I can complain about is mild discomfort in the distal end of my right gastrocnemius/calcaneal tendon.
The calcaneal tendon, which is commonly referred to as “Achilles tendon”, is a common spot of tension in runners. If you see the image to the left you will notice that the calcaneal tendon is quite large (the tendon of gastrocnemius becomes the calcaneal tendon, despite it being labeled separately) . While many believe the Achilies tendon is just near the ankle, inflammation of this tendon can be felt much farther up. My discomfort is about a third of the way up my calf. I believe the reason for my new-found discomfort there is thanks to trying to baby my knees while running and over thinking my movements. I’m going to do some self-massage and an Epsom-salt soak and try to ease in to my stride better next time.
I’m heading to Connecticut today for Elaine Stillerman’s MotherMassage® course. That means my next run will be on the treadmill at the hotel I’m staying at, bleck! This will be my first time running on a treadmill. I’m nervous about being bored and also a little concerned about how that might mess with my stride. Any tips are greatly appreciated. I’ll let you all know how it goes!