My Tough Mudder training continues. I’ve got just under 4 months to the big day and I’ve been feeling determined to train and be at my best. Trying to eat right, give it everything I’ve got during classes and train for the 12 mile run that’s involved in this obstacle course. The result so far is mostly A LOT of soreness and some problems I need to take care of. I’ve been having some issues the past week or so regarding my right side when I run.
My runs tend to go something like this: Towards the end of the second mile I’ll get a numbing feeling in my toes. About half a mile afterwards I’ll feel an ache in my hip, this usually leads to me overcompensating by landing more on my left side than my right but that hardly helps. In my third mile my knee will start to ache and not long afterwards my whole run tends to deteriorate. My toes will be in pain, I’ll start to limp and I’ll get a stitch on my side because I’ll focus more on the discomfort of my run than my breathing. Finishing then becomes a matter of pride- who’s going to win, me or the pavement? In the end I finish my runs with all kinds of aches, craps and hyperventilating. This issue has been going on for a while. It happened when I was doing daily runs rather than strength and cardio circuit training, but I’ve seen it get slowly, yet progressively more aggravated. I went for a run this afternoon and was disappointed when I couldn’t finish a mile before I had to stop and walk for a bit then pick up my running again. Stopping at any point during my run doesn’t really happen anymore. It would be very reckless of me to ignore this any longer and not do something to take care of this potentially serious problem.
So what is happening? I’m positive this all starts with my feet. My steps lean towards the outside of my foot, it’s called supination, and after some use my shoes look something like this. I go through shoes like crazy, at least once a month. I’m up to having three pairs of running shoes that I alternate throughout the month and rotate one pair out for a new one every 4 weeks. I’ve tried all kinds of shoes including the pricey Nikes, Asics and Saucony shoes but they don’t last any more than the Atleticas I buy K-Mart. I’m spending so much money on shoes it’s best if I invest that money in a long term solution. So I’m looking for a podiatrist that will help me sort out what I can do with this problem. If I can’t go 3 miles without ending my run looking like a newborn giraffe taking it’s first steps then I have no hope of doing well at Tough Mudder because a bad run affects me mentally as well as physically. I won’t be satisfied with ‘just finishing’ Tough Mudder, I want to perform at my best.
Finding the right doctor tends to take some time, research and I’m working on a time frame for this obstacle course. Add to that the fact that I’m still one of those uninsured Americans and podiatrists are quite pricey. So it looks like I’ll be resorting to my usual recourse, I’ll find a doctor in Mexico that can help me and is within my price range. It all means I’m going to set aside time and money for this but I’m sure this investment will be worth it to avoid injuries, surgeries or worse.
Additionally I think I need to find a running coach. I’ve read some blogs for runners where they advise newbies like myself to do their best to start running with proper form. When I first started running I didn’t think about form at all, I was just trying to keep moving and happy that I finished but I see the point. A little side note about me: I’m an archery instructor so I understand the importance of starting with good form. I’ve seen a lot of novice archers pick up a bow without any instruction and some of them have the weirdest way of pulling back a bow with dreadful form that I can tell right away will end in some form of injury. Once an archer settles into their way of shooting it’s very difficult to a) deconstruct the form and b) get the archer to agree to change their form because they’re giving up performance in the short term for what they might see as no guarantee the new form will be any better. With that in mind, if proper form applies to archery it stands to reason that it applies to running as well. If for some reason a coach is not something I can really find or afford I will probably resort to my trusty internet for some help.
So it looks like I have some homework: I’ve got to find a podiatrist and a running coach. In the meantime I’ll stay focused on the other aspects of my training. I’ll talk to the trainers at my gym, Next Level Fitness, to see what they have to say and focus on going hard in my workouts with them to improve my strength and endurance.
Until my next post, I really need a shower….