Saturday, May 23, 2015


Get thee to a softer surface, say my trail running friends. And I don't disagree. I used to get about a third of my miles on trails, although much of this was on that trail I call the towpath. At the mention of that name, my trail running friends fall all over themselves to be the first to blurt out (think Crocodile Dundee here), "That's not a trail!"

But it is fairly soft, and that's the point.

Why am I thinking soft these days? It's the same old story: the Achilles Tendinitis pain. The level of pain has waxed and waned over the past two years or so, but it's never gone away. Lately I've learned that running fast, relative as that is, aggravates it more than most efforts.

A month or so ago, I was beginning to feel a little better, and I ran the 20-mile drop. Although it hurt afterwards, the pain was manageable. Then I did a couple 5K's. Reaching speeds approaching 7:30 per mile (did I mention that speed is relative?), I felt like I was running quite fast. At least I was moving. But then, the old AT really let itself be known.

Okay, it was time to back off a little. Then, guess what? I started feeling a little better and running a little better, and I followed that up with another 5K a week ago (the Hyland HY-5, 22:49 or so, no placement in Age Group). Guess what? Pain again. Big Pain again.

Now I'm back to slow running once more. And of course that makes me soft, but this is not the point. In fact, I forget what the point was...

Oh, now I remember: soft surfaces. I ran 10 of today's 16 miles on dirt, cinders and grass on the old, almost non-existent track behind the middle schools. Around and around I went, slow and not too steady. At least it was slightly decent mileage.

And guess what? It hurts.

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