Great news on the injury front: This week I was able to rack up some quality pain-free miles for the first time since hurting my knee. After yesterday's run, my total for the week was a solid 101.8 miles. Obviously I'm happy that I was able to log at least one honest week of training before Iron Horse 100, but the most positive result is that I'm definitely 100% injury-free again.
I had a few moments of pure bliss while running this weekend and realizing (for the first time in almost a month) my pain receptors weren't firing back angry messages to my brain with every stride. Running with an injury is like swinging a weighted bat while warming up in baseball - once you drop the weight/injury, your swing/stride seems so light and easy. ...and when you mix in the 50 degree day we had yesterday in DC, well, it felt like I could just run all day long. Sure, I still won't be in top shape for Iron Horse, but just knowing I'll be able to glide along for a few miles and enjoy the warmer weather sounds pretty good to me!
In other news this week, I was able to get out and run a few days with a new (to me) product I've been interested in tying for quite some time. Over the past few months I've researched everything I could find about compression socks, and I found enough positive reports to give them a try myself. Of course, I want to be clear that I'm still wearing Drymax on my feet (they ARE the best socks ever) - The compression socks are just an additional piece of gear that I wear on my lower leg (think soccer shin guard).
The claims of compression sock makers is that their product promotes more efficient circulation of blood in the calf area, and therefore helps to deliver oxygenated blood to the muscles more efficiently, thereby reducing the rate of fatigue and encouraging muscle repair. They also claim the snug fit of these socks keeps the muscles in place and reduces any unnecessary energy-wasted movement. Whether any of this is true or just a bunch of bunk remains to be seen. I'll be (obviously) happy with any of the above proving to be true in the long run, but the main reason I'm trying these socks is for an entirely different benefit. Last year during my Run 192 (and on more than a few long training runs on hot asphalt), the heat-reflection from the street onto my calves was brutal. I figure a white sock cover from my ankle to my knee will help shield me from some of that reflected UV-pain on hot and sunny asphalt runs this year. We'll see how they hold up when the heat comes back in a couple months. In the mean time, I'm happy to report the socks have felt great thus far, and I'm looking forward to wearing them in the Iron Horse as their first 100 mile test - just 3 weeks away!