After seeing a podiatrist, Dr. Hajnosz, I was diagnosed with tendonitis and a pinched nerve. No stress fractures here!! I was clear to start running again and only needed to re-lace my shoes and keep pressure off the affected area so it could heal. I was so worried. A stress fracture would have cost me the Akron Marathon and possibly the Marshall Mangler in November.
After the appointment I went home Tuesday night and ladder laced a few pairs of shoes and hit the ground running on Wednesday. I felt like a baby deer on new legs for the first mile. After that things fell back into place.
Last week was another long run with Lisa. She was running 15 and I was looking for 19-20 so I ran 4 miles before meeting up with her at Millvale Waterfront Park. I planned a route and managed to stick to it until Oakland. Lisa had never heard of Conflict Kitchen so we ran by there. They are making Cuban food now. Even though it didn't open until 10 or 11 they were busy cooking up the day's eats. Oh man! The smells!! Lisa, our resident Cuban foods expert, seemed satisfied by the glorious scents pouring from la Cocina del Conflicto. This restaurant is so cool. They pick a country that the US has had or currently has some conflict with and serves up their food and culture with a side of politics.
After filling our olfactory up we entirely left my planned course. My fault entirely. I managed to find the one singletrack trail in all of Schenley Park to drag Lisa down. We followed Panther Hollow back into the city and picked up the Eliza Furnace Trail, better known locally as the jail trail. From here we crossed the Hot Metal Bridge into the Southside and finished our run on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system.
Now I am into my heaviest week before the taper for Akron begins. The focus has shifted to mostly roads and increasing speed and burning fat for fuel. Of course, I am still getting some trail time in too. My first week back I got around 30 miles in with 11 on trail Saturday at North Park and 10 road Sunday. Last week and this week I am on track for back to back 50 mile weeks.
To help with burning fats as fuel I am taking a race pace to tempo effort run the day after the long run with no food in my system. These runs have been around 8 miles in a carb depleted state. After the run I binge on carbs and refuel ye olde glycogen stores. This gets the body used to burning fat at higher intensity pacing instead of relying solely on glycogen.
That is a little of what has been happening for the last 3 weeks or so in my training. Also, I spoke with Salomon. My hydration vest back pocket started ripping away from the body of the pack. They asked me to first contact the seller. I wrote www.RunningWarehouse.com, whom I purchased the pack from 11 months ago, and included some pictures They have a 60 day return policy, but said they understand some things can't be resolved in that time period and are exchanging it! I have received nothing but excellent service from them on each occasion I have dealt with their company. Unfortunately they did not have the same pack in stock so I opted for trying the Ultimate Direction PB. I am looking forward to getting that next week along with a new pair of Mizuno Inspire 10's for Akron. It is a little close to the marathon for new shoes, but I figured it is better than running it in a pair of worn out shoes with over 430 miles on them and I have not fully transitioned into the zero drop Altras yet.
This weekend I have 20-22 miles on tap Saturday with another fat fuel run on or possibly trail on Sunday. Feeling fierce and ready to attempt a sub 4 hour at Akron!