Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beach Bliss- Training Blues

Last week we spent a great time at the beach with my family.  We went to Topsail, North Carolina which is located near Wilmington, NC.  My family stayed with my sister's family and my parents stayed in a house with my brother's family.  Our house was beachfront which was the first time we have stayed on the beach.  It was amazing- we had easy access to the beach-lunch, bathroom and rest breaks were a breeze.  Every morning we woke up listening to the ocean waves.  The house we rented was perfect for our families- the cousins had a great time hanging out together for a week.

Our beach house

The boys at the beach

Patio playground

While at the beach, Glenn and I had planned on running a long run together.  Unfortunately this didn't happen for a variety of reasons.  I was disciplined to wake up early two mornings to get in a 6 & 8 mile run.  Glenn also did 2 runs- 5 & 6 miles.  Each of us had feet issues on this trip. 

Glenn got several foot blisters which forced him to take it easy for the remainder of the week.  I have been dealing with some heel pain which seems to be my nemesis injury.  Off and on during my running & tennis "careers", I have had problems with heel pain.  Usually I can heal it with rest & care.  So I decided to take it easy the rest of the week- no reason to push myself with 14 weeks of training left.

Glenn's nasty foot blisters

On the trip I bought a book with me called "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.  My good friend, Wendy, who is also running the NYC marathon recommended this book to me after I mentioned my heel pain.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book for many reasons.  The book follows the story of a man's search for pain-free natural running which leads him to researching the practices of Tarahumara Indians in Mexico and ultra-marathoners in the United States.  It is pro-barefoot or minimal running, building the case against the use of shoes that promote heel-striking running.  As a lover of running, I was intrigued with the ultra-runner community (though I have no desire to run an ultra-marathon).  I also found a lot of good advice about running techniques which has caused me to evaluate my own running technique. 
Courtesy of Amazon

Due to my constant foot & heel pain, I am going to slowly change my running gait as well as my running shoes.  When we returned on Sunday, I went out for a 3 mile run and focused on my foot strike, trying to land on my mid-foot and not the heel.  I immediately noticed a difference in my foot pain.  The next day I ran 5-6 miles which I did at a slower pace than normal, continuing to work on landing on my mid-foot and keeping my foot under my hips and not out in front. 

Wearing my Brooks Trance, which has a high heel sole, made it challenging to take the heel strike totally out of the picture.  Luckily there are great blogs about running that are easy to find and I located a blog called Runblogger @  I found great information about shoes and technique.  I am not looking to get into barefoot running but I need to change something in order to get rid of my chronic foot pain.  So I am going to go shoe shopping today- looking at the Brooks PureFlow and Saucony Kinvara as possible shoes. 
Saucony Kinvara

Brooks Pureflow

Running is a physical, mental and emotional challenge at times- right now I am experiencing a physical challenge which I am confident I can overcome.  I am lifting this up to God in prayer but I also believe that God wants you to help yourself as well.  Sometimes we need to be actively praying but also actively participating in the solution. 

For example, on my 6 mile run at the beach, I was discouraged that I was still feeling the pain in my heel.  I kept running, praying that God would carry me through my training, getting me to the marathon in New York.  When I got home, I checked my email and I had an email from Runner's World titled "Fix Your Feet Fast".  It was advertising a book about foot care & injury prevention.  What a coincidence- you might say!  But I believe when we give it to God, there are no coincidences.  So what did I do?  I ordered the book- I can actively participant in the solution by researching my options while asking God to take away the pain.  Either way I know that He got me in (marathon) and He will carry me through!

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in ME will carry it on to completion.." Phil. 1:6

No comments:

Post a Comment