Monday, March 25, 2013

"Spring" Update!

Cherry Blossoms and Snow...something's not right here!
Sure, the calendar says Spring came last week, but the snow storm I ran through to get to work this morning obviously didn't get that memo.  I guess this was a year for March to come in like a lion, out like a lion, and probably spill its lionishness over into April as well. It's all good though, as I've turned the corner from some early season issues and am rounding nicely into shape, so the weather can't get me down too much! The key for me getting healthy this year was finally figuring out that my ongoing hamstring issue in my left leg (that dates back a couple years) isn't actually a hammy problem at all. Turns out it's all connected to a sciatica issue in my back. As soon as I figured that out, it was an easy fix to get my back warm and loose before my runs to keep the nerves from misfiring down my leg. It's always great to find the true root to a nagging injury like this one, and it's beyond great to be back running full steam ahead!

In terms of miles, I've slowly and smartly ramped up the miles the past 3 months (150 in January, 200 in February, and 300 this month), and now that I'm 100% healthy, I'm looking forward to a couple "normal" 400 mile months before the Black Hills 100. I'm really looking forward to that adventure in South Dakota, and while I normally don't run these things to win, I will admit I'm hoping to bring home the giant skull trophy from this one!

In addition to figuring out my sciatica issue, I also credit mixing up my shoes a bit to take care of a foot problem that shelved me for a couple weeks in January. Since then I've run most of my road miles in the super cushy Hoka Bondi Speeds to help "actively recover" from the foot pain, and on the trail the past month I've enjoyed the low & responsive Salomon Sense Mantras quite a bit. I've also just come into a pair of shiny new Adidas Boosts, which, if you believe all the advertising hype, will give you more cushioning and energy-return than any other shoe...while also apparently making you smarter, more attractive to the opposite sex, and guaranteeing you low low interest rates on any future mortgage refinancing deals. I think I need to run a few more miles in them to see if all their claims pan out, but for now they do seem like a comfortable shoe to run in, and that's really good enough for me.

On the race front, I won't be running with the fellas up front this soon, but I am excited to say I'll be heading back to test out the early-season legs at the Bull Run 50 miler on April 13. I've even teamed up with a couple speedy friends in the Team competition to keep me motivated to grunt through some lung burn in the last 20 miles or so. Nothing like a little peer pressure to keep the ol' legs moving! I'm looking forward to writing a Race Report in a couple weeks to recap all the fun. Now if only we can figure out a way to get the temps up out of the 30s and 40s by then...hmm...maybe the Adidas Boosts can also help with that?