Night socked and soda blasted

This won’t hurt a bit

Today’s run (treadmill): 3.5 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 1.5 miles

Before you judge me for for my abysmally low mileage this week, please know that I had plenty of excuses why that was the case. And by plenty, I mean two. First was my work schedule that required me to come into the office on Friday. I normally work from home on Fridays, but I had my buddy KWL come for a visit. It was great having him at the office, but I didn’t get a chance to do my usual Friday run.

Plantar fasciitis is the other excuse for my five mile week. Despite my purchase of a compression sleeve and plantar orthotics, the pain in my heel hasn’t gone away. This discourages longer runs because I’m concerned that I’m doing damage with every step. I don’t know if that’s true. Even though the Internet has plenty to say about the condition, I’ve found very little useful information about it.

Saturday morning I followed my usual routine of waking up and limping downstairs to make coffee. The limping hasn’t always been usual, but this has been my experience over the past month or so. After I took a few hundred steps, the pain reduced from pointedly sharp to mildly uncomfortable. I started thinking about my morning run and considered driving over to the track where the surface is more forgiving. Then I remembered that I had my six month dental checkup in a couple of hours and went back to drinking coffee.

My dentist recently left the office that we’ve been using for the last 15 years but we’ve followed her to her new practice. I met her hygienist who turned out to be one of those judgy types who assume that no one flosses or brushes correctly. There aren’t too many things I do well, but one of them is take good care of my teeth. I enjoyed listening to her compliment my excellent “home care” and prepared for an easy cleaning. I wasn’t prepared for her.

My foot issue had made me a little grouchy and my annoyance increased when this woman started aggressively going through her routine. I thought about how running has made me patient about situations like this, where you have no choice but to ride out the discomfort. Then things got a little weird. The hygienist used what I can only describe as a miniature sand blaster to power wash the inside of my mouth using baking soda. Ouch and yuck. My tongue felt like it was being hit with shotgun pellets. I was really hating this woman by the time I heard the machine winding down to a stop.

I left the office feeling sorer than when I’d limped in. I headed over to a nearby CVS to buy their equivalent of a Strassburg Sock. The sock pulls back your foot and stretches out the plantar fascia. This is supposed to relieve the pain caused by tightened and inflamed tissue. I put it on when I got home. It was hard to tell if it helped, but I kept it on for about an hour.

Socks of the night: (left, CVS, right, the Strassburg Sock) 

Later in the day I decided I was ready to try a neighborhood run. The outside temperature was in the mid 50’s and overcast. Pretty good running conditions. I geared up and headed outside, not sure how I’d feel once I got going. The answer was not very good. My plantar pain was influencing the way my foot was landing and my stride felt awkward. My legs were heavy and my energy level was low. I did my best to put the discomfort out of my head, but I eventually reached the point where I felt I was doing more harm than good.

I decided to cut the run short and hobbled home, discouraged by my poor performance and feeling concern that this pain would prevent me from running for a while. I figured I’d take it a day at a time and hoped for the best the next day.

This morning brought improvement, possibly due to sleeping with my stretchy thing. My energy level was better and I again debated running at the high school track. We had plans to get out mid morning so I elected to use the treadmill and see how it felt. I thought that running with a decline might take some pressure off my heel but that actually made it worse. I switched to a 2% incline and noticed that my landing shifted me closer to mid-foot. After ten minutes, the pain was barely noticeable.

Less pain is not the same as no pain so I kept it fairly short to minimize possible damage. I was happy with my stride and glad I could bounce back from the really bad run I had the day before. I ended up running only five miles this weekend. All things considered, I did what I could.

Numb running

Today’s run (street): 4.75 miles

A year ago I ran the Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor 5K and met TPP in person for the first time. It seems impossible that it was only a year ago. It’s also hard to believe that the first time our little group (including SIOR) all got together was last November.

It would have been nice if the three of us could have done the Supervisor’s race today, but only TPP could make it.

My day started in the dentist chair. Despite my fitness age of 41, my fillings are older. One had cracked and needed to be replaced. My dentist doesn’t work a lot of weekends, so I had to take an available slot this morning. We talked about the race today and she said she doesn’t run because of her knee. I resisted arguing that point with her, because it’s hard to debate health issues with a doctor. Especially one who is about to stick a sharp object in your mouth.

I finished with my appointment and headed home. On the way out of the medical office I saw many runners and cyclists along the bike trail that parallels Sunnyside Boulevard. This is the northernmost end of the Bethpage trail that terminates on Woodbury Road. I occasionally run to it from my house and follow the path to Washington Ave. I thought about running it today, but remembered that we had morning plans.

When I got home, my wife told me that I had an hour to run if I wanted to do it. I had resigned myself to an afternoon workout, but I always prefer mornings. I quickly changed and headed outside. My mouth was numb from the dentist and I thought the run might help get my blood flowing enough to make it wear off. Unfortunately, I was still semi-numb by the time I returned home.

My wife had mentioned the humidity during her earlier treadmill run and I was prepared for it. When I got outside, it felt cool and comfortable. I decided to do a tempo and took it easy for the first mile, increasing my effort on each subsequent mile.

There were a lot of cars on the road at 9:00 AM and I was shocked to see three people walking on the right side of the street, spreading more than halfway across the road. Worse, their back was to traffic and I saw at least one car come up behind them and slow to a stop so they could squeeze by safely on the left. This was on a street with a 30 MPH speed limit. Those morons were completely oblivious.

I needed to complete my run, shower and be ready all within an hour, so I fell a little short of my targeted 5 miles. Getting my run in before the day’s activities were to start was a nice and unexpected surprise. I hope TPP had a good race today. We were certainly with her in spirit.

Numb Runner

Distance lost

Today’s run (street): 5.4 miles

Instead of heading out this morning with my running buddies, I was at the dentist having a broken filling repaired. I like to get out as early as possible on my weekend runs, so I can cover longer distances and still have my day. If I scheduled the dentist any later in the morning, the inevitable backups would have taken too much time. That’s why I’d asked for the first appointment of the day.

It’s been years since I’ve needed to get a local anesthetic at the dentist, so that was lots of fun (not). My dentist talked to me about Cow Harbor. She lives in Northport and has run the race a couple of times. I told her I’d run it this year if she does. I’m pretty sure I will participate either way, so I can run it with SIOR and TPP. I’m still on the fence about Dirty Sock though.

Since I have so few opportunities to run these days, I knew I had to get out today. The weather was ideal, mostly overcast, with temperatures in the low 70’s. One side of my mouth was still unpleasantly numb when I set off from my driveway. Almost immediately after starting, I was flagged down by a man on a bicycle who asked me a question about the neighborhood. I stopped my Garmin while I chatted with him, and thought I’d restarted it once I resumed running.

I had covered about 1.5 miles when it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard the one-mile chirp from the Garmin. I looked at my watch and realized that it wasn’t recording time or distance. I restarted the timer, figuring I could determine my mileage when I got home by mapping my route with Milemeter. Since I had started off with the Garmin recording my start time, I was able to back into my pace by subtracting the “chat” time from total run duration.

Surprisingly enough, my mouth was still a little numb by the time I got home and that prevented me from having my usual post-run refueling. I did drink about 24 ounces of water to re-hydrate. Within an hour, the numbness had thankfully worn off. Between the dentist and the run, I was fairly wiped out, so that came at a perfect time for lunch. I was glad to get in some decent mileage today. I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow, because the family has early morning plans. Maybe a 6:00 AM run is in order. That might help prepare me for even earlier workouts on weekdays.