I have a new philosophy for long runs. Sometimes stopping to rest is a good thing. I stopped several times today.
- I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) for the first time, and needed to stop a couple of times to adjust things--putting bandages places they were rubbing. I plan to get some toe socks to wear with them so that the seams inside don't bother my feet like they did today. (Other than that, I mostly liked running in them.)
- I brought (in a pocket of my Camelbak water backpack) a tennis ball in a sock. That's one of the massage tools suggested in The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook--a book I'm finding very, very, very helpful with the tight spots I get. Two miles in, I felt like my IT band was a little tight. It wasn't hurting, but I thought it might help the run go better if I rubbed out some "trigger points" on my now-warmed-up legs. I stopped and used the tennis ball...and my IT band felt great the rest of the run! Hallelujah! My biggest fear for this run was that my IT band would give me trouble. I had also had my husband use the KT Tape on my IT band before the run. I don't know which helped the most--the tape or the trigger point massage--but I'm just so glad to be finding ways to deal with my particular running challenges, ways that allow me to keep running!
- With barefoot or minimalist running, it's important not to flex the foot too much. That can cause arch soreness, among other things. I wasn't keeping my foot flat enough, and my right arch was cramping about 7 miles in, so I stopped, took off that shoe, and used the tennis ball to thoroughly massage my sole. That got me through the final couple of miles. It did still hurt some after that, but only a little. I was able to keep the pain minimal by focusing on keeping my foot more flat. By doing that for the entire run next time I'm out, I am hoping my arch will once again be just fine.
- I had multiple stops at stop lights, which gave me nice little breaks.
The result of today's run? I feel like I can do a half marathon. The book I got, and the KT tape, have made me feel more in control of my body. I'm learning how my body works, and how to take care of it. That's a great feeling.
Nine miles was challenging...but very doable. Next weekend will be a shorter run, a 5-mile race my husband and I are doing. I'm looking forward to that break from long runs. I'm also looking forward to my 10-mile training run two weeks from now. Bring it on!
9.04 miles, 1:51:56 (12:22/mile)