Sunday, April 27, 2008

Washington Crossing Park

I have a confession to make: I have not done any barefoot running since October 18, 2007. Today was my first barefoot run in 6 months. It felt soooooooo good~! It was at Washington Crossing Park's cross country course. I was there for my son's soccer game. Since the park was the site of my most successful barefoot race, I could not resist. It was time.

As I have discussed in my posts since last year, I needed to recover from Achilles tendon problems. I also needed to do some important races: RVRR XC races and The Escarpment Trail Run in July '07, and the New York City Marathon in November '07.

Quick summary (again): I did major damage to my Achilles tendons in June of '07, running in the President's Cup 5K barefoot. I did not do the damage because I was barefoot - it was because I ran race-pace barefoot, and I had not trained for that. I continued to train and race after doing the damage. I did conventional icing and Ibuprofen. You can read my training errors in this post.

So as I have tried to prepare for some races this year, I have used these things called training shoes. So far, 192 miles of running have been in training shoes, about 50 miles in racing or XC shoes, and finally 5.5 miles barefoot.

Almost 4 months into 2008, this does not sound like much mileage. In my olden days of running, 250 miles would be the result of one month of running, not four. But the important thing is I have been experiencing accelerated healing of my Achilles because I got back on my bikes. I don't know exactly why I decided to hit the bikes again. I know I was gaining weight through the winter. I watched it happen. I knew I could not amp up my running mileage, because my Achilles and heel would be hurting too much.

For some unknown reason I stopped shopping for skis on eBay, and I started shopping for bikes. Irrational, yes. I had a bunch of bikes hanging in my garage. But after shopping and lurking for a while I bid on a nice "vintage" Cannondale, but was below reserve. Emails after the auction closed the deal. It is a beautiful bike.

I got it just before my spring break. I knew I would have daylight time during my spring break to get some rides in. So that is when it started. I rode the Cannondale and my other bikes 131 miles March 25-30. That was the week that marked the end of skiing season, with a two day "guy" trip to Belleayre and Gore, skiing with Andy.

I have continued riding the bikes, tinkering with them, spending some money on them, and have successfully integrated decent running mileage. And I am convinced that the increased circulation to my Achilles and heels has brought about healing of all the tissues of the area. April weeks have been 40, 78, 66 & 91 miles of cycling, and 22, 18, 29 & 30 miles of running. I have commuted to work 10X on bikes and have lost some weight.

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