Distance ran: 9,63 km in 1:10:33; with an average pace of 7:20 min/km and 287 m elevation gain.
Ascent from valley floor (Neder) via Pinnistal, past Elferspitze on normal route. Scramble from Zwölfernieder to the secondary summit of Zwölferspitze (2562m) required some easy climbing (UIAA II). Return via panorama trail and cable car. 19km for the day, 1900m ascent, 1100m descent.
Ascend from valley floor (Neder) via Pinnistal. Climb via Nordwand Klettersteig (rated “difficult”, “C/D”). 22km for the day, 1650m elevation gain and loss.
Friday was uneventful. During my lunch break, I walked to the fitness center (1.5km) and back (1.5km). At the gym, I did a variation of my usual program, and was glad to see that a gluteus exercise that I hadn’t been able to do well in over two months due to my hip issues was almost pain-free again.
After work, I walked to the hairdresser and back, for a total of 2km, therefore clocking a total of 5km of walking for the day.
Did quite a bit of Compex on the left achilles tendon, but it seems that electro-stimulation works better when the achilles tendon itself is sore, not the part where it connects to the heel (people on the internet seem to refer to this as “insertional achilles tendonitis”).
Once again, I woke up with a painful left achilles tendon, mostly towards its base at the heel. Walking downstairs was painful in the morning, but after putting on my Asics running shoes (with a positive heel-to-toe drop) things improved – which is to be expected, since the higher heel in the shoe means that the achilles tendon isn’t stretched as much.
During my lunch break, I threw caution to the wind and went for a jogging around the Petrusse and Alzette valleys. I was once again wearing my cadence meter , and contrary to Tuesday purposefully tried taking smaller steps. My average today was 84 steps per minute, an increase of 5% over the previously recorded 80spm. I was faster too, although that was probably caused by running on paved surface rather than forest trails. I ended up doing 7,47 km with a 5:45 min/km pace, climbing only around 115m of elevation.
The pain in the achilles was fairly noticeable in the first 1 or 2 km, but then faded into the background. Later on, I put the Compex (electro-stimulation) on the achilles heel and tendon and did three “capillarization” programs in a row, for a total of 75 minutes. The advantage of these is that I can do them while sitting at the office and working, since the program requires no input and all I need to do is kick off my shoes and lower the socks. I’m still not sure if the Compex is really helping or if it’s just a matter of placebo effect, but I always feel better afterwards.
Once again, I then came home and had dinner instead of getting on the stationary bike. I still feel like I could stand losing some weight, but food cravings are stronger than my willpower. The achilles tendon is feeling a little better tonight.
On Wednesday, I woke up feeling like I was back in the year 2000. Meaning, my left achilles tendon was acting up again, and I had trouble even just descending the stairs to the kitchen after getting out of bed. Memories of the surgery that I had on the tendon in late 2000 after a partial tear was diagnosed came back; but of course then and now are very different times.
With the car requiring another visit to the mechanic, I was looking at 4.5km of walking from the car dealer to work and back. The morning walk to work went OK, even if the first few meters were once again painful. During my lunch break, I walked to the fitness center and did my usual program; including eccentric calf muscle exercises I’ve been doing regularly for the past half year and that, prior to the latest achilles episode of the past few days, have worked in keeping any major pain at bay.
After work I walked back to the car dealer and drove home, once again without major pain. I had been toying with the idea of riding my stationary bike in the evening, but instead upon getting home I ate entirely too many comfort foods and called it a day.
My achilles tendon had not been happy on Monday and Tuesday morning. Quite why I ended up doing quite a large double program on Tuesday, I don’t really know. Stubbornness, I suppose.
At lunch, I did a 10km loop around the Petrusse and Alzette valleys near work. I tried to stay on forest trails as much as possible, which means running on a softer more uneven surface almost 50% of the time. I went quite slow (6:44 min/km), although it still felt like I put in quite some effort. The 240m of elevation change didn’t help, probably.
This was also my first outing with my new Garmin 910XT GPS watch and cadence monitor. It was interesting to finally see detailed statistics about how many steps I take while running. Turns out that my cadence on this run at least was quite a bit lower than the 90 to 100 steps per minute that a lot of people seem to recommend. Now sure how my average cadence of 80 fits in with that, or if I’m still in the “reasonable” range because I’m taller than your typical lightweight distance runner.
In the evening, I did a lone sprint training (the others were doing starts, which I can’t do yet): 8x300m with short breaks was the plan. I ended up doing only 5x300m, which is when my running form went to hell. My left achilles tendon was probably really happy about that too, although during the runs it didn’t feel too bad. I wasn’t very fast, just cruising along at a speed I thought I could maintain without too much pain in the hip or achilles tendon: 53″9, 53″5, 52″0, 54″3, 51″6.
The left achilles tendon (or rather, the insertion near the heel) was not happy at all once I had cooled down at home.
Thursday 27/Jun: Went to my club’s track training. Did various stair jumps in the stadium stands (as best as the hip that’s still sore could handle – maybe it’s not the smartest idea to do these jumps while I’m still somewhat injured) and then five laps on the grass (strides on the straights, jogging inbetween). Did quite a bit of cross-training throughout the day in the shape of walking: in the morning, I dropped off the car for scheduled maintenance and then walked 2.25km to work. In the evening, I did the reverse. For lunch, I walked close to 4.5km near my work place.
Friday 28/Jun: Walked to the weight room (1.5km), did a quick lunch workout and walked back to work (1.5km).
Saturday 29/Jun: Did a big trail loop from home, pretty much circling around the entire “Haard” natural preserve. Ended up with 21.23km, or just a tad over semi-marathon distance.
Sunday 30/Jun: Decided that Sunday would be back-to-back day following Saturday’s long run. Ended up doing a 11.78km “out and back” run heading south along the western perimeter of the “Haard” natural preserve until I reached the outskirts of Rumelange, and then turning back.
Monday 1/Jul: Walked to the weight room (1.5km), did a quick lunch workout and walked back to work (1.5km).
On Monday, I had an osteopathy appointment. Following my 100m race on April 16th, I’d been dealing with a dull pain somewhere in the region of my left hip/adductor that flared up whenever I tried to sprint. It didn’t prevent me from running a half marathon or a 10km race in May, but even two months later I’ve still been unable to sprint faster than 80% to 90% of my normal speed.
So the osteopath found and fixed a misaligned hip and back and told me to take it easy for 48 hours. I did, almost. I went for a run tonight, some 47 hours after the appointment.
Quite a few book and blog authors I’ve been reading lately have been advocating more runs in an “easy” zone, and are saying that most runners do entirely too many runs in the “average” speed category but not enough going slow or going very fast. Right now is probably a good moment to include more slow running in my training because I’m clearly not fit for competitive running and could really use a decent base for any adventures I might encounter further down the line.
For me (age 35, maximum heart rate of around 186), I take “easy” to mean 140 heartbeats per minute or less. So that’s what I set out for tonight. Unfortunately, most interesting trails around here invariably go up at some point, and as soon as I climbed even just a few meters, my heart rate went higher than 140. So I felt like I had to go really slow to accommodate that upper limit, and even then I briefly reached a maximum of 158 when I took my eyes off my watch for a moment, and overall I only managed an average of 141 (rather than treating that number as a maximum). In the end, I did 12.86km with an elevation gain of 263m and a pedestrian pace of 7:14 min/km. It will be interesting, however, to see how (or if) that number changes as I (hopefully) do a good and regular job of further building a base.
I set up this blog in September last year, with the clear intent of documenting any and all adventures I might have that are somehow related to climbing mountains, hiking and running on a variety of surfaces; and maybe by virtue of writing about adventures to somehow be challenged to live a more adventurous life.
But of course everyday life then continued to happen and this blog quickly became an afterthought, as did my grandiose thoughts about more interesting challenges. With only so much energy in any given day, all I managed to write was 4 entries in short succession. Then I got distracted and before I even realized it, I had built up an overwhelming mental backlog, that now dates back to around nine months and that will be impossible to process while juggling a full-time job and almost daily training of one kind or another.
I’ve decided that if I want to move forward and still salvage this blog for something productive, I need to focus on writing about current events, as they happen, and not endlessly worry about the depressing task of spending hour after hour documenting and making sense of quite a large amount of different goals, training outings and yes, a few races.
So, reboot. Maybe this time I can truly breathe some life into this thing.